Last week in our local messenger Monique Bowley wrote an article entitled “What is life without hope?” (Portside Messenger, 25/06/2014). The piece was a reflection on what she had seen at an audition for Channel 9’s Millionaire Hot Seat. The article grabbed my attention because of Monique’s social commentary regarding the lack of ‘hope’ within our society. She wrote: “society is suffering from a paucity of hope.” The people at the audition she observed “hoped to be chosen, to meet Eddie, to win money, to change their life”. However, Bowley went on to admit:
“I was so cynical. To be among hundreds of people holding onto the hope that there is a better life, a better situation and better world on the other side of the TV screen seemed laughable.
And yet it was so refreshing that I was utterly mesmerised.”
In response to the article, today I sent a letter to the editor:
Monday 30th June.
I don’t suppose Monique Bowley wrote her article last week anticipating that it would be quoted in a Christian sermon. It just so happened that the two passages of scripture chosen for my Sunday sermon both included the theme of “hope”. Bowley’s eloquent and articulate article was then relevant and she seems right to suggest that “society is suffering from a paucity of hope”. However juxtaposed to a scarcity of hope is the biblical writers’ abundance of hope—which is not based on what might happen, but what has already happened—Jesus’ death and resurrection. The point is Jesus’ death and resurrection frees anyone from feelings of failure, which Bowley lists as being as small as not recycling a tinned tomato can, or as large as marriage disintegration! Actually Christian hope goes even further: to hope in the face of terminal illness and permanent disability. If Jesus cried out “… why…” on the cross and yet was ultimately vindicated and resurrected, then as we cry out the same words we follow in his footsteps, in the sure hope that for those trusting in Jesus, his experience will be ours too. That is a mesmerising hope which we seek to explore more deeply and live more fully at Largs Bay Anglican—to which Monique you are invited to be a part. Your question is pertinent: “What is life without hope?” Every blessing, Rev. Simon Hill