Nothing worth doing is completed in one lifetime, therefore we must be saved by hope
Nothing true or beautiful makes complete sense in any context of history, therefore we must be saved by faith
Nothing we do, no matter how virtuous can be accomplished alone, therefore we must be saved by love
Reinhold Niebuhr 20th century Protestant theologian
Faith Hope and Love, the theological virtues, gifts only given by God, but gifts that must grow in us if we would live beyond the moment, beyond comprehension, and beyond ourselves.
Several weeks ago, when the Sunday readings were about the Transfiguration, Peter James and John getting a glimpse of Jesus’ glory, I spoke about courage and hope and trust. Seems like something I might reprise given our current state of slow-motion challenge.
The apostles were on the road to Jerusalem with Jesus, and he warned and challenged them to stay on the way with him, to his betrayal, denial, abandonment, unjust sentencing to death, to Calvary, to the tomb and new life on the 3rd day. It would require courage to let his way be theirs as well, so to feed this courage he bolstered their hope with a glimpse. They would discover following him that eternal life is not so much a reward as it is the final statement of living with courage. We live with courage more and more fully into the fullness of life, courage needs hope, courage leads to fullness. But this hope comes from God, not just a glimpse, and so we hope because we learn to trust in the goodness of God. God promises through Jesus Christ his goodness is real, and enfleshed. My goodness transcends and overcomes sin and death through Jesus Christ, and so it is our reason to hope in the midst of life: its perils, storms, disappointments and tragedies.
And Christ ties these altogether as he fulfills the Father’s will. He is joined in will and purpose because God is love and so He loves us to the full, with nothing reserved, freely chosen and faithfully done.
God is love, God’s goodness is full and unending, showered on our world in the coming of his Son, given as a gift to everyone, let that goodness fill you with hope that gives courage. It is not “what me worry” it is rather “God is good” and then let’s get to work on this illness, together.