From November 3-17 Trinity will be engaged in our Annual Giving Campaign. It is an important time in our common life calling us to intentionally reflect and respond to what it means to be a community of faith supporting the ministry we share. Each fall we boldly talk about money and both its power and promise as we plan for another exciting year ahead.
This year we are once again blessed to be able to use resources made available through The Episcopal Network for Stewardship (TENS). Included is a wonderful series of reflections offered by a wide variety of members across the Episcopal Church based on the gospel reading for the coming Sunday. I am going to “yield the remainder of my blog” over the course of these three weeks to share these various voices.
Come home this Sunday to greet friends and make new ones; and to be fed and reminded of the love and work we are given in equal parts. We are ready for the year ahead and you are an invaluable member of the community making us more than we could ever be alone.
May you never forget that you are loved,
Investing In Hope Amid Chaos
By Kathleen Moore
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find hope a bit hard to come by. A 24-hour news cycle comes at me from multiple platforms all day long. And so often the problems and the pains revealed in these stories seem insurmountable. And I find myself wondering, “How do I move forward in this life in hope?”
In today’s Gospel passage from Luke, Jesus sounds as though he’s reading top headlines from just such a news cycle. War, violence, natural disaster, the spread of disease and food insecurity are among the “portents and signs” we are told to expect. As we prepare for the upcoming season of Advent, this story offers us an opportunity to remember that Jesus’s incarnation – his earthly ministry among us – allowed him to know what it is to live here. To really live here. Jesus knows what it is to hold onto hope amidst chaos and tragedy.
We human beings invest a great deal in attempts to manufacture hope amidst chaos and tragedy. We build towers and walls and weapons. We envelope ourselves in comfort and even luxury when we can, and we distract ourselves from the concerns of the real world with hours of screen-time on ubiquitous gadgets. We think these things will protect us from the “portents and signs” of the world around us. And yet, these are hollow attempts that leave us in that space of finding hope hard to come by. Jesus, who understands these struggles first-hand, shows us another way. Jesus shows us what it is to invest in true hope.
Jesus tells us that the tragedy and chaos that seem to surround us at times are never the end of the story. In fact, they are just the beginning. He tells his disciples that amidst their troubles and persecution they will have the “opportunity to testify.” They will be given “words and wisdom.” We are not to retreat into our own attempts at manufactured hope — our own temples “adorned with beautiful stones.”
Rather, we are called to respond directly to the suffering we see in the world, to put our trust in God, and to invest in those things that shine the light of the coming Kingdom of God. This is how we move forward — not in passive waiting, but in active preparation and investment in the hope of God in Jesus Christ.
Kathleen Moore is communications manager at Canticle Communications, a strategic communications firm working primarily in the Episcopal Church.
The Episcopal Network for Stewardship