WS Update: Hope and Promise

December 11, 2023

There is no shortage of diagnoses and opinions about the state of our world, most of them pessimistic. Of course, the state of our world is an outgrowth of the state of our souls, which is why Terry Eagleton writes in his book Culture:

What needs to be refashioned is not only the world but the self … Human beings need to take themselves in hand, mold themselves into shape … the self is ours on trust, as a set of capacities which it is our moral duty to develop to the full.

In other words, if we want the world to be a better place, our souls need to be in better shape. This is where the power of Advent comes into play. The Apostle Peter argues that the hope of Jesus’ return in the future should motivate Christians in the present to “live holy and godly lives.” (2 Peter 3:11-12) The Apostle John also connects the hope of Christ’s return to the promise of a positive change in our character, writing that as we live in Advent hope we will be purified, a word that implies moral cleansing. The ultimate hope and promise of Advent is a new heavens and earth where “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.” (Revelation 21:4)  In the meantime, Christians are to actively live out of this hope and promise in order to wipe the tears, reduce the pain, and suffuse the mourning of our neighbors with joy.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. – 1 John 3:1-3

Live at W83 Is This Friday

Bring a friend and join us for a classical, chamber music concert in the sanctuary featuring musicians from the New York Philharmonic and pianist Eileen Buck. Works by Gershwin, Prokofiev, and Brahms will be performed followed by light reception afterward.

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