Sunday, 25 October 2015
Daily Reading: 2 Corinthians 5v1-10 'Real Hope'
Hope is vague, at least it is when we talk about what our football team might do this weekend, or whether the weather will be nice, or even if she might say yes. Hope when we use it doesn't normally come with any guarantees. In fact I wonder sometimes if our Britishness injects our use of the word 'hope' with underdog tones, almost as if we are always hoping against hope, as if hope is forlorn because it is a hope for the outsider and the results not certain but merely wishful thinking, a possible but improbably best case scenario.
When the Bible talks about hope it is not in any way shape or form vague. It is as the polar opposite of vague and wishful. As Paul writes to the Corinthians about our resurrection hope - a new body, physical resurrection when Christ comes again, he does so with a longing for something that is real. He is able to talk of what we "know"(1), of being fashioned for a purpose, and having a guarantee(5). This is not vague, it is not wishful, it is real.
Paul is writing to sweep away the vague, ethereal, spiritual notions of the culture around Corinth which have seeped into their thinking and polluted and diluted their hope, so much so that it is making no discernible difference to the way they live. But Paul contends that our hope is real and therefore it MUST make a tangible difference to the way we live and he spells out those tangible differences in v6-10.
Here's the question I have to ask myself. Is my hope in the resurrection making a difference to my life, not just to my thoughts about death? And if so how? If not why not? If it isn't is it because I have forgotten what my hope really is?