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Hope is a verb. Hope looks like something.

Hope is the tenacious refusal to accept the 'status quo' as the final word, and it whispers, or dare we say, shouts, a defiant protest against injustice, oppression, and domination.

For the Christian, this hope is inextricably bound up in the story of the crucified and risen God-Man, Jesus. His crucifixion portrays the horror of injustice and empire, and his subsequent resurrection demonstrates to the gods of this age that their days are numbered, and their beastly powers are neither eternal nor everlasting.

 Hope is a kind of looking back that awakens us in our present moment to the reality of a future that has already broken in—the presence of the future, acting as a down payment and guarantee, leading us into a future where the first fruits of resurrection will yield a new creation harvest.

Hope is a verb. Hope looks like something.

This hope isn't merely a silent yearning or fanciful daydream leading us to spiritual clichés, where we become so heavenly-minded that our impact on the social, political, or economic realms is minimal. Instead, this hope is an active force, woven into our lives, shaping communities that foreshadow the grandeur of the coming kingdom in the dawn of new creation.

Hope has a tangible appearance. In a world where wealth is stockpiled, hope directs us towards an egalitarian kingdom where everyone has plenty, and the hungry are fed. It embodies this vision by fostering communities and extending tables so that all may partake.

Hope has a distinct manifestation. In a world scarred by violence, toxicity, and domination, hope anticipates a definitive era of kindness and shalom. It strives to embody this ideal by practicing non-violence, showcasing the fruits of the spirit, and offering a transformative way of life.

Hope is not an abstract concept—it has a recognizable form.

Hope is a verb. Hope looks like something.

- Swales, 2023

Artwork by Ivanka Demchuk ‘40 Days on Earth’


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