Christ in you, the hope of glory – Colossians 1:27
2020 has been quite a year. We have experienced a pandemic, social unrest, political division and conflict, and everything that comes with the upending of our “normal” routine. It has created stress, anxiety, and depression at levels we have rarely seen.
In the midst of this uncertainty we are all searching for hope, looking for something that can ease the pain, calm the nerves, and give us confidence that everything is going to be okay. It is a pop quiz to our mind and soul, testing to see how we will handle a world unhinged, and seeing where we will place our faith. I fear our grade is coming up short so let’s spend a couple of minutes refreshing ourselves with the basics of hope.
I have spent the last 30 years working with the next generation including my time on the staff at Shandon as college and then young married pastor, and now mobilizing next gen for the North American Mission Board. Over the years many things have changed but a few have remained remarkably constant. Even as culture shifted and world events created crisis and opportunity, students continued every decade to wrestle with the same issues. Where is my anchor point? What can I depend on when everything else is adrift? What is essential and what is peripheral?
It is summed up in the same question we all struggle with today in the midst of the 2020 spiritual pop quiz.
Where is your hope?
There is only one correct answer, yet I am afraid many of us confuse ourselves and others by taking a multi-answer solution.
Christ plus fixing ______________
Christ plus my political party
Christ plus my traditions
Christ plus an end to _______________
Christ plus my happiness
If our source and object of hope is ANYTHING but CHRIST ALONE, we fail.
The Bible is very clear. Christ is the source of our hope and the object of our hope. It is not what Christ will give us or do for us if we hope. It is that Christ has ALREADY done it all and that HE is the ultimate fulfillment of our hope. Then as we walk as ambassadors of the hope we have in Him, we are able to tell others the reason for our hope, making disciples who make disciples and training the next generation that although the world may quake and tremble, we remain calm and constant, fixing our hope on Christ and Christ alone.
Christ in us, the HOPE of glory! What powerful words and yet much of the world does not believe this because we project a Christ plus ______ attitude. We say it is Christ alone but our actions and reactions say something very different, and no one misses that fact! It is the reason that the Church, the Bride of Christ, is so ineffective in the midst of the chaos. We hedge our faith and all who look see the hypocrisy.
Here is the good news! Let’s look honestly in the mirror, see our failings, and return to the only source of hope, our Lord Jesus Christ! Then as we reflect that truth, speak that truth, and guard that truth, the world will once again ask the reason for the hope that lives within us.