“Be the Hope” became our congregation’s unofficial motto after Hurricane Katrina. It’s taken on a life of its own, showing up on banners and on our beautiful lighted sign at the front door of our church campus.
My favorite “Be the Hope” story came to me via Pastor Robert who heard it from a Preschool dad. Seems that it had been a tough morning for dad and son that day. Getting up, clothed, breakfasted, stuff for the day gathered in the backpack…just trying to get out of the house had been especially stressful and nerve-racking that day. Dad was tense as he drove over to school and had been snapping at his son. Just before arriving at the church, the little boy piped up from the backseat: “Be the Hope, Dad!” he said.
I preached a sermon on “Words Matter” a few weeks ago that struck a chord with many of you. I stand by that, but even so, I know how very often what we DO and who we ARE matters even more than what we SAY. St. Francis put it this way: “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.”
Being the Hope means witnessing to the Gospel, to God’s Good News for each and every one of us and for the world and creation–in everything we do, everything we stand up for, every act of compassion and kindness. It means putting God’s Hope at the very center of our heart so that it radiates through the person that we are.
On Laity Sunday, October 14th, we’ll hear from several of our members of different ages and life experiences as they reflect on what “Be the Hope” means to them. Let’s all be in prayer with them, asking God to increase our faith, confirm our hope, and mold our lives accordingly.
“Let us hold firmly to the hope we claim to have. The God who promised is faithful.” Heb. 10:23