Monday, January 19, 2009

an invitation to prayers of thanks

This image graced the bulletin cover at St. Paul and the Redeemer this weekend and it struck me--this is what HOPE means... it is not when victory is certain but when you pray from the jail cell.
I am continually challenged by the discipline of those who have gone before us--today, I remember especially the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.--in prayer, in clinging to hope, in envisioning God's reign spreading in spite of evidence to the contrary.
I hope that in the great cloud of witnesses beloved Martin and faithful Coretta as well as so many others who believed in and lived out the audacity of hope see their work as bearing fruit today, on the eve of an historic election.
No, it's not that I expect Obama to bring about a political utopia or that I expect him to be fully God's hands on earth--but it is remarkable to me that a man who proclaimed hope rather than fear has been elected and will be leading us. Hope--not prosperity, not individuality, not "us vs. them"--hope.
In these days of struggle--economically, ecologically, globally--may we pray like beloved Martin. May we cling to hope--not only in a president, not only in each other but in our God who is doing a new thing... that we might perceive it.

In awe and gratitude,
Pastor Joy