In such a depressive atmosphere how do we hope? Such an elusive thing that cannot be described or held in words or thoughts but experienced in joy and love. Yet hope for Isaiah comes in dreams and visions. Something that we have perhaps let go of in our rational based society. Hope cannot be captured in words or rationality it comes in springs that appear in the desert. The desert of human empathy that occurs as a result of our manifest violence on the other. Violence in terms of words, attitudes and actions both physical and psychological. Violence that we bring upon ourselves or on the other either purposely or as a side product of our own ineptitude and non-empathetic way of living. Our ineptitude at recognising the truth of God's kingdom here in this place, at this time results in our blindness to the violence we help create. We concentrate so much on the rationality of programmes that we forget that hope comes in the form of dreams and visions not in percentages and numbers.
Hope is dreaming of the future in the desert of despair
God's vision for us is to bring hope into the community. A hope that we see in the incarnation of God. Christ gives to us a hope of living in harmony and in love with all those who are other. Christ shares with us through the Gospel story the idea and hope that all of humanity are made in God's image. It is not just those that are part of this church or that denomination but all of humanity no matter who they are. How they express their identity as part of God;s world is not for us to judge it is for God to condemn. In reaching out to those who are so different from us we begin a conversation that draws us into the presence of God. We exchange something from us for something from the stranger and we build that into our dreams, our visions for a world that is filled with hope.
Hope is elusive and hard to catch hold of that is because it cannot be encapsulated in numbers and rational statistics. A recent article in the Spectator talks about the deniers and the panickers but in reality they are talking about the dreamers and the rationalists. Christianity is formed in the heart of God and expressed in the visions of God's prophets. It is not a science that we can control but a call that is weak and unassuming that plays on our hearts with visions and dreams. WE have to be bold in the eyes of a rational society by proclaiming the dreams of God for the intangible realities of a stress free world. A reality that is based on hope for better relationships, a dream of peace and a vision of non-violence in everything that we do. In this manner we change the reality of the world and strive to change the rationality of our community. We find love in despair, peace in war and conviviality in sorrow. Hope strives for a future that is built on the clouds of dreams.