Hope, More Than Ever, The World Needs It Now
The world needs hope. Day in - day out, what we see on TV, hear and read in the news is all the bad, all the tragic, broken, and despair stuff of the world. Just now, in this moment, here's what's happening: Volcano in Hawaii, political strife, shootings in Chicago, unemployment, inflation, Afghanistan, firefighters hurt and police under attack - It's what Paul wrote in Romans 8.22
The whole creation is groaning to be set free from its' bondage to corruption and decay, and for the sons of God to be revealed. It's the news, the whole news, nothing but the news. Our world desperately needs hope.
The whole creation is groaning. People are groaning. Have a look at our Zion prayer list. Listen to the groaning . . . cancer, leukemia, cellulitis, depression, economic crisis, mourning, grief at the loss of loved ones. In fact, you may even find yourself thinking you'd rather not know about it all. Dr. Jeff Gibbs, former CSSL professor, once noted,
As God's hope-filled people in the world, we must guard against losing the ability to hear the groaning. Listen to the groaning. Listen to your own life, and the lives of others. Petty jealousy and laziness and just plain indifference prevent us from reaching others with the Gospel. Take for example gossip: Gossip destroys the good name of our neighbor. One theologian notes:
What will break up a friendship more quickly than gossip? I can't think of anything that will drive a wedge between Christian brothers or sisters more quickly than spreading gossip. It's a daily reality, by the means of phone calls, emails, Facebook posts, sometimes even during Bible studies, we fail to protect the reputation of others.
The whole creation is groaning. Listen to the groaning, yes, but more than the groaning listen to our Lord. Listen to His invitation, ‘Come all you who are weary.' Listen to the announcement of His forgiveness and grace, ‘take and eat',‘take and drink.' The world needs hope. We the people of God have hope and more:
In Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them-For our sake God made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5.19, 21
Here now is the message of hope to all the brokenness and despair of the world. God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, and by His life, suffering, death, and resurrection... God offers this new life.
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5.17
More than 2000 years ago, on the night of our Lord's birth, an angel of the Lord announced,
Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord. For unto you – unto our world of brokenness and despair where death continues to fill graveyards... Jesus Christ IS hope! When Jesus returns, our hope in Him will be made sure, groaning will be silenced once and for all. Until His coming again... until His final advent, comfort one another with these words.
~ Pastor Kelly G. Mitteis
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