Friday, November 04, 2005

Restless Hope:
"The New Testament thrust is that our center is not here. "But our citizenship
is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians
3:20). While alienation is considered a part of all religions, what
distinguishes the New Testament is that its writers do not wish to resolve that
sense of alienation. It seems they want to know it fully and to preserve it as
the very key to life in Christ.

What do you expect from your Christian
life? What do you believe, wish, hope that it will deliver?

I believe
that many of us look to faith for a resolution to problems, perhaps for a more
successful life, or at least less difficulties or pressures than others have to
face. In faith, some approaches to Christianity give the impression that being a
Christian will help you to be comfortable in life, to fit in, to have a happier

Many perhaps have had an inkling that this was not true to real
life; neither is it true in the Scriptures or church history. Jurgen Moltmann
offers helpful insight: "Faith, wherever it develops into hope, causes not rest
but unrest, not patience, but impatience. It does not calm the unquiet heart,
but is itself this unquiet heart in man. Those who hope in Christ can no longer
put up with reality as it is, but begin to suffer under it, to contradict it.
Peace with God means conflict with the world, for the good of the promised
future stabs inexorably into the flesh of every unfulfilled present."(1)

(1) Jurgen Moltmann, Theology of Hope (Minneapolis: Fortress Press,
1993), 21."

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