October 2020

Abound in Hope

My dear friends,

As I write these words, we are again entering a period when, again, all seems uncertain because of the pandemic; meetings of no more than six, talks of lockdowns for the vulnerable, or indeed for the whole community – the list goes on. Most of us will have experienced all sorts of emotions over these months when our whole way of life first shuddered to a halt and then slowly adapted to new circumstances.

The rise of all sorts of problems, including mental well-being and bereavement, has shaken society. We have watched as protests and rioting have taken place surrounding a variety of issues in many parts of the world.

How can we make sense and deal with the turmoil with has beset humanity?

Paul offers the answer. I know I have used these quotes before, but the little phrase ‘abound in hope’ come from the end of his letter to a group of Christian in Rome. They are suffering persecution, life is difficult – something not unknown to Christians in many parts of the world right now. Paul says to them: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15: 13)

At the heart of Paul’s life is an understanding of the way in which Jesus Christ has changed everything for him: The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me,’ (Galatians 2: 20) Paul’s understanding of life is transformed through knowledge of the self-giving love of Jesus, together with the call to his Resurrection Life.

Jesus Christ offers true life and true hope to all who seek to follow him. This does not mean that everything will be a bed of roses, but the assurance that whatever besets us, we are able to respond by abounding in hope, knowing that we are never alone – always accompanied by the God of Love.

With my love and best wishes,

Michael