Hope: A Theological Virtue

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And now faith, hope, and love abide.

Paul ends a well known passage of Scripture with these words. He goes on to claim that the greatest is love, but the three taken together — faith, hope, and love — are known as the theological virtues. They are virtues that go above and beyond the classical virtues (prudence, justice, temperance, courage), derived not from the natural state of human life but from a developing relationship with the divine. Today, it would seem odd to call these virtues, and even more odd to call them theological, since does not hope (or love or faith) abide in cultural without the need for God? To begin to understand this, we must begin with time.

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Hope in Hard Times

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I don’t know where you’re at. I don’t know your circumstances. I don’t know your pain or your suffering, but I do know that you will face them. All people undergo various pains, troubles. Some might seem light and momentary; some are world destroying, so destructive that all the meaningful things you’ve built up around yourself crumble away. There are times when there seems to be no hope.

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Politics and Hope

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Man is a political animal. — Aristotle

The great political question, according to the philosophers of the enlightenment, was why would the individual give up her inherent liberty to another body, to an institution. Different theories arose, the social contract being the most dominant. But I think there is another reading possible: we come together, because we are hopeful, because we hope for a better life, a better world, a better future.

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Sermon Edition: Manifest in Human Life

This is the situation: a foreign people have moved into the land. They dress differently than you. They eat differently than you, and so they even smell differently than you. Some of the countrymen have taken it on themselves to oppose these foreigners, sometimes violently. And there is violence, back and forth, an unstable situation, with untold amounts of human suffering and misery. Now, given this week, this could be Paris, but in fact, it was also the same situation in first century Palestine. Only, of course, those foreigners were the ones in power, and some of the countrymen, the Jews, were complicit in the occupation, leading, of course, to more violence. The baptism of Jesus is situated in this situation, and it speaks to this situation and to human life, complicated with its politics, its ethics, and its symbols. Speaking of, let’s talk first about water here.

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Goals for 2015

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“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Like a post before, this one will be a little different. Today, I want to go over my fifteen goals for 2015! These goals are not to create a sense of shame at the end of the year if they are not accomplished, but they are to dream and to inspire. Goals are gifts we can give ourselves; let’s never punish ourselves with our goals.

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…behold, new things come.

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“And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.'” — Revelation 21:5

 If all endings can be beautiful while being painful, embracing the new should come as no surprise: it can also be beautiful and painful. Birth itself is a painful process, and it exemplifies a fact of all beginnings: they are hard. When things change, they do not go without resistance, but as we push forward, we may yet enter into joy. We may yet see all things pass away and all things become new…

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