Rising to life

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NYD Hope by ahmed hasan Lvon5hPT818 unsplashThe Revd Dr Michael Jagessar, United Reformed Church Secretary for Global and Intercultural Ministries, explores how uncertainty of the future carries hope-filled possibilities for New Year’s Day.

In times when bad news may feature daily on our social media feeds, one can readily identify with the words sung by Joan Armatrading in the song In These Times: “These are the times … you’re bound to feel all sanity is lost.”

Despair and anxiety of the moment often cause us not to think instinctively of the present, but of the future, and surmising it is going to be bleak and hopeless. Bandwidth deficit and the resulting instinctive ‘tunnelling’ can force us to operate with a scarcity mindset.

The reality, though, is that uncertainty of the future also carries with it hope-filled possibilities. A closer look at Armatrading’s song shows it is filled with hope.

There are shoots of hope even when words may continue to fail us. Maybe, the silence or becoming speechless is not necessarily a negative thing in a situation where we are overloaded with words and sound-bites.

Perhaps, our awareness would find necessary space to thrive and feed us for constructive engagement.

Will this New Year see us transcend paralysing polarisations and act urgently on the critical existential issues before us (climate justice as only one example)? Hope urges us to turn to the neighbour instead of ‘turning-in’ on ourselves.

Perhaps in 2020 we all should commit to work for change and a better world but doing so from the angle of a promise for a brighter present and future.

We believe in God who makes all things new (Revelation 21:1-5). This ‘new’ is being born in us just when we least believe it. The new which we seek and long for comes to us in the moment in which we lose hope of ever finding it. It appears when and where it chooses. We cannot force it. We cannot predict it. Readiness is the only pre-requisite. And when it comes, we must be open for it to break the power of that which holds us captive.

May our prayer and our working out of that prayer be that of becoming faithful signs of ‘positive vibrations’ of full life for all.


Picture: Hope by Ahmed Hasan/Inbal Malca on Unsplash
Published: 30 December 2019

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