The Wellington Central Pastoral Area Newsletter 25 February 2018

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LIVING HOPEFULLY

In common speech the word ‘hopefully’ has been downgraded so that it expresses little more than a vague wish: ‘Hopefully, it will be fine tomorrow,’ or ‘Hopefully, it won’t be too busy.’

A novelist describes what it is to live hopefully. One of her characters is a young woman named Sally who has cancer and knows that she is dying. She has two young children.  She is determined not to leave her husband and children with the memory of her dying being a drawn-out horror story as she wallows in despair. She wants her children to remember her as a fun-filled, kind and loving person. As long as she has strength, despite the illness that threatens to overwhelm her, she resolves that she will find purpose and meaning and as much enjoyment as she can in each day. Even though she knows her time on earth is limited she is full of hope that counters despair.

Charles Pinches, a professor of religious studies, says that, unlike optimism, genuine hope is formed in the darkness. This was Sally’s experience.

During Lent we keep company with Jesus as he trod the path that would lead to the cross. The happiness he pursued was not a passing fancy but the true blessedness that comes from a life of overflowing commitment to the way and will of God. Nothing would turn him aside. This is what it is to live hopefully. Living hopefully is grounded in the faithfulness of God and is always linked to action.

Living hopefully is one of the key notes of the gospel that we are called to proclaim throughout Lent, the Easter season and all that lies beyond.

Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that [life] makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.  Vaclav Havel (1936-2011), first President of the Czech Republic who spent years imprisoned during the Soviet era.

Extract from editorial by John Meredith in Word and Worship [Autumn 2018]  Used with permission.

The full newsletter can be viewed here.