I dislike buying books and not reading them so I have been trying to attack my reading pile.

I read something good tonight.

I found Darren Whitehead & Jon Tyson’s Rumors of God in the offer bin. A few dollars, it was.

The man they had set their hopes on died. Not just a normal death, but a defeat at the hands of their oppressors, the Romans. Imagine how the disciples felt – they had followed Jesus for three years. And now, on the road to Emmaus, they were replaying everything that had happened. Slowly but surely, cynicism entered their hearts. God had forgotten them. He was absent, distant, and they were walking away.

As a culture, we can relate … God often seems absent, distant, as if he has walked away.

Yes.

As a result, cynicism has filled our hearts. Some of it is the low-grade kind – a subtle arrogance about the questions our generation seems to be asking. Then there’s the dangerous kind, a cynicism of the soul that dares to look God in the eye with an arrogant belief that we could do a better job of running the world than he does.

Hey I do seem to be suffering from some low-grade cynicism. Subtle arrogance, the authors say. Hmm.

Well the chapter goes on to talk about how cynicism has permeated our world, the media we consume, the institutions we see crumble, yada yada.

What really gets my attention is this statement: it’s one thing for hopelessness to exist in the world, but when it makes its way into the church, a crisis ensues.

We resign our stories to a sort of heartless fatalism, which in itself is fatal for people who claim to follow Jesus.

The question "why am I not more hopeful?" intrigues me. It makes sense: the gospel message is the most hopeful thing in the world.

I wonder what causes me to be cynical? Hurtful disappointing experiences? Have I allowed those things to shape my outlook?

What is this HOPE that Jesus gives? I have seen it permeate some lives – an unmistakable undeniable force. I have heard stories. I have experienced it at times.

I don’t mean the singular word that makes its way into pretty pictures on Pinterest that evokes some temporal emotion. I mean what is it, really?

What is the real source of hope?

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