This Sunday, we wrap up our series with the fierce, final words of the prophet Amos. Unexpectedly, these words will be the most difficult to hear. They differ markedly from what came before, so much so that some scholars presume the words must be written by someone else. But I don’t think so. It’s just that Amos dared to do that most difficult thing—proclaim the truth about hope.
The trouble with hope is that we don’t understand it. Hope eludes us. It’s a holy gift we don’t know how to use. We use it to excuse our by-standing and justify our indifference to suffering—our assumption that since God is good, things really can’t be that bad.
But hope wasn’t made to prop up evil. It’s a revelation of God’s unwavering promise to redeem creation—not destroy it. Hope gives us the courage to love life even as it breaks our hearts. Hope gives us the wisdom to discern where and how God is redeeming our neighborhood, even now.
I hope you’ll listen in as we allow ourselves to have hope—not in the way things are, and not in our efforts to control or change them. But in the astonishing goodness of God and his promises.