Tag Archives: Hope

Interview with Eduardo Galeano

From July/August 2013 – back page

On exile – it opened doors for me to the many worlds which the world contains.

Which political or social movement in today’s world inspires you most?

All the movements that are flowing from the indignants in opposition to the undignified; the right of indignation against indignity imposed like the fate of destiny.

Where do you find cause for hope?

From day to day, hope is incubated, little by little, and in a while will rise up to teach us to fly in the dark, like bats.

On protests against the dismissal of a judge investigating the military dictatorship

The Hope – Colin Sinclair

Story of Kate and Luther taken from website here:

The story is told that one day Katie Luther decided to dress all in black, complete with a black veil over her head and face.  When her husband got home from wherever he was, he barely got two steps in the door before he took one look and said “What’s the matter with you?  Why are you all dressed in black?”

“I am in mourning,” Katie declared.

“In mourning?” Luther said.  “What for?  Who died?”

“God died,” Katie said.

“What do you mean God died?” Luther said.  “That’s crazy!  God is not dead.”

“Well,” Katie said, “the way you’ve been acting this past week I figured God must be dead.”

It’s said that Luther laughed at that.  And Katie then reminded him of Paul’s words to the Philippians:  “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4


God has not done with this denomination. And until he does we remain. Not until and not unless.


I made a promise to work for the unity and peace of Church. The promise only begins when it is difficult. Staying on the Church is not enough. You have to get stuck in otherwise you are a hindrance. If you hold back and wait and see. We are not called to be spectators.


Our hope is in God.


The early Christians were known for outliving, out loving and out laughing the pagans- James S Stewart. (Colin has since pointed out that the true quote may be from Tertullian and is “they out-lived, out-thought and out-died the pagans”)


Colin met a child through Richmond’s hope who said “ I have lost my brother and my home is no longer a happy place to be”. We mustn’t be the pouting elephant in the corner. If we are sulking we will not win.  Our home must not be an unhappy place to be because of us. Hope and sulking are contradictory. We need our beloved Kate to give us a dig in the ribs.


We have the possibility if seeing God at work. We are to become the worshipping discipline people of God.


We want to get stuck in in our parishes.


We have to repent that we have been concealed Congregationalists.


I vowed I would serve my Church.


My God is big enough to look after my boy – son is going to new college.


If we say our hope is in God and no one is training, is there any hope.



We often talk about Jeremiah 29 as a great passage of God’s plans for us.  But what we forget is that it says “I have plans for you – 70 years of exile”.  What does God have for us?  Is it mighty moments of miracle like Exodus or is it seventy years of exile. I can trust Gods timing because I can trust my God. I have plans for you – seventy years of exile.


Hope is not a matter of personality. The optimist says the glass is half full. The pessimist says the glass is half empty. The person of faith says “I know who holds the glass”


In the New Testsment the word hope only appears once before the resurrection and about fifty to sixty times afterwards. For hope, there must be a death.  And then there is abundant hope.


It’s not enough to stay in, we must get stuck in

Gospel According to Les Mis

The hardening of Valjean “From year to year his soul had dried away… his eye had never shed a tear.” is then met with grace.  He is a victim but he is not only a victim.  No one is only ever a victim.  And inside him is the hate that he has chosen. He is irremediably miserable, he himself cannot be cured.

The grace comes through the Bishop, M. Bienvenue, who gives his life to the poor and exemplifies the law of substitutionary love.  Valjean says, “Do you know who I am?”.  “Yes, I know your name” says the bishop, your name is brother.

The key scene of the movie is the one where Valjean steals the silver, and the when he is caught, the Bishop gives him more.  “Do not forget that you have promised to use this money in becoming an honest man?” – Grace is sneaky, finding inside of you promises that you did not know that you had made.

The key scene for Valjean is the one where he realises what the bishop has given him, he realises that he has become a wretch and he breaks down and he cries, and these are the first tears that he has shed in 19 years.  Ortberg makes the link with Newton – that saved a wretch like me.

Javert wants to live by the law, but he has forgotten the true law, to love one’s neighbour.  He cannot bear the burden of law, he hunts down grace but it will always elude him, its injustice terrify and haunt him, until grace also pardons him.  Then he too, like Valjean, sees grace, like an owl blinded by the sun, but he cannot cope and he takes his own life.

Meanwhile, Valjean lives his own life of love, but he hides from Caussette and Marius, until towards the end of his life they find him.  They end with the story of love “to love another person is to see the grace of God” (and Ortberg makes the link with Jacob and Esau).  The story ends with hope, with the hope that cannot be dimmed, They will live again in freedom in the garden of the Lord.  Somewhere beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see. It is the music of a people who are climbing towards the light.  For the wretched of the earth there is a flame that never dies.



Luke 24:13-33

9th April 2012


This is Ortberg on the Road to Emmaus.


Amongst the insights are:

  1. These were quite possibly a married couple, Mary and Clopas who are mentioned elsewhere
  2. The element of suffering that is present in this story and the difference in the kind of hope of the suffering servant, versus the king that they hoped would take over Israel, the idea of “we had been hoping that”.
  3. That Jesus is revealed in the breaking of the bread
  4. That hope is a different thing from what we often hope for, but infinitely more.

Hope plunges us into the struggle

Commentary on the Psalm, New Interpreter’s Commentary, Page 722-723,

From Declaration of Faith, Presbyterian Church in the US, 1976


We know that we cannot bring in Gods kingdom.

But hope plunges s into the struggle

For victories over evil that are possible now in

The world, in the Church, and our individual lives


Hope gives us courage and energy

To contend against all opposition,

However invincible it may seem,

For the new world and the new humanity

That are surely coming.


Also in the commentary on Psalm 11,

“This trust is a confession to God’s ability to protect and a rejection of all self-help.”

The Bible Jesus Read


Next year country

Key Words Hope Future Prophecy
Source The Bible Jesus Read
Author Yancey, Philip
Page 187
Quote Kathleen Norris, who lives in the farm country of South Dakota, speaks of “next-year-country,” a landscape farmers know well; next year the rains will come, next year hail won’t fall, next year winter will hold off a few weeks. Yet, continues Norris, she doesn’t know a single farmer who uses the idea of “next year” as an excuse not to get out and do the work needed now.


On apocalypticists

Key Words Apocaplypse Prophecy Future
Source The Bible Jesus Read
Author Yancey, Philip
Page 187
Quote From Hans King:The apocalypticists asked about the kingdom of God, the absolute future, in the light of the present situation of man and the world. That is why they were so concerned about the exact date of its arrival. Jesus takes the very opposite line: he asks about the present situation of man and the world in the light of the imminent advent of God’s future kingdom. That’s why he is not concerned about the time or manner of the arrival of God’s kingdom.


Wisdom, wealth and might

Key Words Wisdom Money Knowledge Might Power
Source The Bible Jesus Read
Author Yancey, Philip
Page 189
Quote According to Abraham Heschel, ancient society cherished three things above all else: wisdom, wealth and might. (Has anything changed since then?) The Hebrew prophets blasted all three of these values, any of which could become idols. None provides the kind of foundation a society needs; only trust in the living God can do that. The moral view of history differs markedly from the newspaper view, which tends to focus on fame and power – tokens of the very wisdom, wealth and might that the prophets denounced.


Joy beyond the walls

Key Words Joy Happiness Glad
Source The Bible Jesus Read
Author Yancey, Philip
Page 194
Quote The prophects call us to a vision of a deeper, underlying reality, to “joy beyond the walls of the world, more poignant than grief” (Tolkien’s phrase). By giving a glimpse of the future, and of the cosmic present, they make it possible for us to believe in a just God after all.


Interupting ourselves

Key Words Prayer Worship Praise
Source The Bible Jesus Read
Author Yancey, Philip
Page 127
Quote From Eugene Peterson, Leap Over A WallWorship is the strategy by which we interrupt our preoccupation with ourselves and attend to the presence of God. Worship is the time and place that we assign for deliberate attentiveness to God- not because he s confined to time and place, but because our self-importance is so insidiously relentless that if we don t deliberately interrupt ourselves regularly, we have no chance of attending to him at all at other times and in other places.

Fearlessness and hope



Rudolf Bahro, a prominent German activist and iconoclast, describes the first step: “When the forms of an old culture are dying, the new culture is created by a few people who are not afraid to be insecure.”


The nineteenth century Tibetan master Patrul Rinpoche stated this perfectly: “Don’t prolong the past, don’t invite the future, don’t be deceived by appearances, just dwell in present awareness.”


Yet only in the present moment, free from hope and fear, do we receive the gifts of clarity and resolve.  Freed also from anger, aggression and urgency, we are able to see the situation clearly, take it all in, and discover what to do.  This clarity reveals “right action” – those actions that feel genuinely appropriate in this moment, without any concern about whether they will succeed or not.


From Vaclav Havel “Hope is a dimension of the soul… an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart.  It transcends the world that is immediately experienced and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons… It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out.”


Hope is not related to accomplishment.  It is, quite simply, a dimension of being human.  To feel hope, we don’t have to accomplish anything.  Hope is always right there, in our very being, our human spirits, our fundamental human goodness.


If we know we are hope, it becomes much easier to stop being blinded or seduced by hopeful prospects.  Instead of grasping onto activities that we want so desperately to succeed, we can see clary and simply what to do.  Grounded only in who we are, we discover those actions that feel right, rather than those that might or might not be effective.  We may not succeed in changing things, but we choose to act from the clarity that this is right action for us.  People who endure and persever for their cause describe clarity as a force rising from within them, that compels them to act.  They express this by saying “I couldn’t not do it.”


Thomas Merton, the famed Christian mystic, counselled a despairing friend, “Do not depend on the hope of results.. you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect.  As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness the truth of the work itself… you gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people… In the end, it is the reality of personal relationships that saves everything.”


Many years ago, I took Merton seriously, and abandoned all hope of ever saving the world.  This was extremely heart-wrenching for me, more difficult than letting go of a love relationship.  I felt I was betraying my causes, condemning the world to a terrible end.  Some of my colleagues were critical, even frightened by my decision.  How could I be so irresponsible… still today I have many beloved colleagues who refuse to resign as saviour.  They continue to force their failing spirits and tired bodies back into action one more time, wanting angry vehemence to give them vigour.


Thomas Merton was right.  We are consoled and strengthened by being together.  We don’t need specific outcomes.  We don’t need hope.  We need each other.


St. Augustine taught this infuriating truth: “The reward of patience is patience”.  Years ago the Dalai Lama counselled a group of colleagues who were depressed about the state of the world to be patient “Do not despair.  Your work will bear fruit in 700 years or so.”


From T.S. Eliot, the Four Quartets

“I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love

For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith

But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.”


My heart holds the image of us journeying in this way through this time of disintegration and rebirth.  Insecure, groundless, patient, beyond hope and fear.  And together.

Billy Graham – Part 7 – Winston Churchill



“I think it’s the gospel of Christ,” I told him without hesitation.  “People are hungry to hear a word straight from the Bible.  Almost all the clergy of this country used to preach it faithfully but I believe they have gotten away from it.” (I had heard that Mr. Churchill had written a book while he was a reporter in South Africa, in which he stated that he believed the Bible was inspired of God).


“Yes,” he said, sighing.  “Things have changed tremendously. Look at these newspapers – filled with nothing but murder and war and what the Communists are up to.  You know, the world may one day be taken over by the Communists.”


I agreed with him, but I did not feel free to comment on world politics.  I merely nodded, and he continued: “I’ll tell you, I have no hope.  I see no hope for the world.”


“Things do look dark,” I agreed.  I hesitated, not wanting to repeat the gaffe I had committed with President Truman just a few years before by being too direct about religion in our conversation.  We talked at length about the world situation, and then, as if on cue, the prime minister looked me in the eye.  “I am a man without hope,” he said sombrely.  “Do you have any real hope?”


From 27th March

Sadhu Sundar Singh, an early twentieth century Indian missionary, wrote

“A silkworm was struggling out of the cocoon and an ignorant man saw it battling as if in pain, so he went and helped it to get free, but very soon after it fluttered and died.  The other silkworms that struggled out without help suffered, but they came out into full life and beauty, with wings made strong for flight by their battle for fresh existence.”

Keep Calm and Carry On


The human condition is such that pain and effort are not just symptoms which can be removed without changing life itself; they are rather the modes in which life itself, together with the necessity to which it is bound, makes itself felt.  For mortals, the ‘easy life of the gods’ would be a lifeless life.  Hannah Arendt, German political philosopher

Never stop because you are afraid – you are never more likely to be wrong – Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian Explorer

A man’s life is interesting primarily when he has failed – I well know.  For it’s a sign that he tried to surpass himself – George Clemenceau, French Statesman

The laurels of mere willing are dry leaves which have never been green – G.W.F. Hegel, German Philosopher

I accept the universe! – Margaret Fuller, 19th Century American writer and activist