Hope: the end and the beginning
This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to hear a terrific sermon on hope, drawing from 1 Peter 1:13-16. The pastor quoted the recent movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in which the comically terrible circumstances of the protagonists are constantly put into perspective by the hotel manager who continues to proclaim “Everything will be ok in the end. If things aren’t ok, then we aren’t at the end!”
This simple message of hope struck a deep chord in me – hope is what TCF is all about – hope that we can become a kind of people that enter the most difficult conversations such that the beauty of Christ is revealed to the world. We have hope in the end because of our beginning: “In the beginning was the Word.” Christ – not the big bang, not survival of the fittest – is our origin and our destination, our Alpha and Omega. We have our origin in the love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which God freely shares with us through creation.
If our beginning is in the love of God in Christ, then we must not conform to the evil desires of this world but to our end in Christ who is true. Yet living between the beginning and the end and in the brokenness of sin requires obedience; it requires practice. Despite our sin, Christ invites us to participate in his life of self-giving love, confession, forgiveness, common worship and prayer. To quote the Sunday sermon again, these practices are like a plaster cast, forming our broken bodies into the image of Christ. The Colossian Forum practices these disciplines of worship, prayer, confession and forgiveness precisely at the points of brokenness and division between Christians that so badly damage our witness of Christ to the world. In doing so we hope to show the beauty of Christ’s reconciling power in places where the world can only imagine ugliness and conflict. We invite you to hope with us and pray this hope into reality!
[div id=”blockquote”]Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy. 1 Peter 1:13-16[end-div]
This piece was originally written for TCF’s February prayer e-letter. If you’d like to receive our prayer letter directly, please send your email address to email@example.com to subscribe. Thank you for your partnership!