Tuesday, January 22, 2013


   Yesterday, 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, 49 years after Civil Rights were legally established, and 45 years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated, we Americans inaugurated an African-American President for a second term.  This accomplishment is more important and more powerful than all the virulent racism that still infects some of us.  Also, the economy is slowly improving,even against great pressure from those who put profit over humanity and the justice owed to employees and workers.  Against the selfishness of some, many others are working to assist the poor, sick, vulnerable and outcast of our society. 

   Here in America and elsewhere in the world, women are gaining more success and are living with more self-esteem and real hope for future progress, even despite the sometimes Neanderthal opposition against them.  In various areas, people are actively fighting for freedom.

   Hope is visible everywhere.

   Of course, we should not be naive or Utopian.  We live in an incomplete, space/time world, and the negative forces are active and powerful.  As Jesus said, the wheat and the chaff will always grow side by side throughout history.  But as Christians, we live with the assurance that even when we're knocked down, we don't have to be knocked out.  There is always hope.

   Hope is not mere wishing, which is a childish view of reality.  Hope arises from the confidence we gain and can build upon from having succeeded in the past, and from succeeding in the present.  It also arises from the absolute values we live by.  Besides the absolute values of mathematics, e. g., one plus one equals two, there are human/spiritual absolute values.  For example, good is always better than evil; justice is always better than injustice; truth is always better than a lie; the joy of life is always better than depression; service to others is always better than selfishness; and love is always better than hate.  In the darkest times we can reach inward to the indwelling Spirit of Christ and to these God-inspired values and the spiritual power they give us.  In the power of these Christ-inspired values, we are assured that we are truly winning in the battle of life.

   To express a spiritual truth that has been "borrowed" by President Obama, we must always, "Keep Hope Alive."  The indwelling Spirit of Christ is calling and empowering us to live in hope as we work to build a more luminously human life here in our imperfect, space/time world, and thereby help Christ save the world into eternity, one small and sometimes difficult step at a time.