I have had several conversations with members, colleagues, friends, and strangers about how discouraging they feel about our current situation as a nation. They feel like our country is truly
sick and broken. It feels hopeless right now according to one person that I talked to. He and his
spouse have seriously considered leaving the country. How do we change hearts and minds that are
so fearful and angry, he asked?

I do not have a good answer for my friend’s questions, but I wonder if it’s about hope. Not our hope, but God’s hope. We don’t lose hope because God has not given up. God will not give up on us!

On Palm Sunday, Rev. Tom Are, pastor at Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kansas used as an illustration John Lewis.

Lewis marched across the Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama. He later became a U.S. a representative from Georgia and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and through it all, he lived as a conscience of the culture. John Lewis, in another violent and seemingly hopeless time, was going to Alabama to participate in the Freedom Rides of the mid-1960s. Lewis was in Nashville, and he received calls from friends telling him not to go. The Kennedy White House dispatched John Seigenthaler to meet with Lewis to implore him not to go. “Don’t go,” they were told. “It’s a bloodbath. Be assured, someone will be killed if you [go to Alabama.]” In Jon Meacham’s biography of John Lewis, he describes it this way, “But they couldn’t stay away. Mob violence… must not stop [our] striving toward right.” Meacham interpreted this moment. “They weren’t thinking pragmatically or even rationally, for their thought was shaped not by the fears of the world they knew but by the hopes of the one they were seeking.”

That is what Christian faith looks like. As people of faith, we never deny the reality of the world we know; but we never give up on the world we are seeking – the kingdom of God on earth. We don’t lose hope because God has not given up. And that parade into Jerusalem is a reminder that God will not stop.

Rev. Are concludes his sermon with the following proclamation: So, church: Do not lose hope. Do not give up. Do not stop because God will not. And even if we grow silent or are silenced, the stones themselves will preach. Our king has come, and he will make any sacrifice love requires and he will not stop. May we not stop loving and hoping in a world that so desperately needs it!!

In Christ,