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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Hopeful Future

As my professor used to say, "unless you believe this is as good as it's gonna get, you've got some kind of eschatology working." Eschatology is the study about "last things," and usually this is heaven, although for the past 100 years or so a few Christians have obsessed about the apocalypse. For those of the more liberal tradition, eschatology often becomes a way about talking of the future we have with God; or, the hope we have in God. It's the hope that interests me these days...

Do you have hope? I am not talking about dreams of retirement here, but a sense that the world will be a better place tomorrow than it is today? Almost everyone seems to think not. Young and old, rich and poor, just about everybody doesn't see a real positive future for tomorrow. What's interesting--at least in my experience--is that everyone thinks it will be worse tomorrow, but not for them. But I wonder why not?

Are our hopes for a better tomorrow really so tied to how much money we may or may not have? I had a conversation with a retired person who suffered a great loss of income with the recession of 2008. He was losing hope because so much of what he valued in life--his money--was losing value. There is little I can offer him except to show him another God, one who doesn't lose value when the stock market does. A God whose value is tied not to feelings of self-worth, but rather to a passion for a better tomorrow.

I do believe this world is God's way of working towards "heaven." (I don't care if you call it that or not, but I'm old-school, and that's the term I'm used to.) That is, this great globe, this universe of space is God's way of living into our final future (our "eschaton.") And it's not always easy to be full of hope when things get difficult...

But I refuse to believe that we are in the best possible place--a world where people are denied rights of freedom and self-expression, a world where children die of poverty, a world where hatred triumphs over peace--there is something for better tomorrow...and in ironies of ironies it's here today.

May your tables be full and your conversations be true.

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