Reflections on a Sunday sermon.

Hope Las Vegas, 6-14-2020

On Sunday, Pastor Vance spoke powerfully about our need for hope. It resonated with me, especially as I had just returned to Atlanta and the continuing tumult there. Between the pandemic, social injustices, political divisions, economic uncertainty, and fear over the future, the prevailing emotion of the world is despondency. But those of us who call Jesus, Lord have a hope for a future that glorifies the Father.

Hope is to expect with confidence. For the believer, that means knowing that whatever we face, it has been filtered through the sovereign character and promises of a holy God. Christianity, Pastor Vance reminded us, is NOT our civic identity! This world is not our home; we yearn for our eternal dwelling with Jesus.

Pastor Vance’s words reminded me of a C.S. Lewis quote I painted a few years ago. We ARE made for another world, ALL of us. Our melanin, our preferences, our diversity- these are part of what makes the Kingdom so beautiful. We long for complete unity and peace, but this world only offers glimpses of what will come. We hope with confident expectation that ultimately we will be united as One Body, the bride of Christ.

My sister-in-Jesus, America Stancil, said, “That’s why we need to represent the world that God prepares for us while we are here on earth. Love one another. Praise God that Heaven awaits us!”

How do we represent the fullness of unity and peace here on earth? We begin by rejecting partiality, marginalization, and oppression of any kind. We begin by loving the way Jesus loves. Our human natures will always get in the way of getting love right all the time, but we have redemption and forgiveness in Jesus that allows us to pursue reconciliation and unity in spite of our many mistakes and sins.

We begin with hope. We reach out in love. We remember we are part of a family: One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

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