"Let's Try Something New" - Luke 5:36-39

“CONSCIOUS AND INTENTIONAL MINISTRY: THIS IS WHY I AM HERE”

For some there is much anxiety and trepidation regarding the state of our country. From the White House in Washington, to the crack house down the street, many are losing faith in their hope for our country and our community.

I, however, do not share in this hopeless and faithless view. My faith and hope is in God. Since my faith and hope is in God, I am able to see beyond what I perceive through my physical senses, and perceive through my spiritual senses God at work – working everything out. This is where my faith is fastened, and my hope is anchored. This is not to say that there will not be struggle, challenge and/or sacrifice. Nevertheless, after the struggling, challenges and/or sacrifices, my faith is in the hope of victory.

Receive the following words of encouragement:

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.”

-Fredrick Douglass

Totally without hope one cannot live. To live without hope is to cease to live. Hell is hopelessness. It is no accident that above the entrance to Dante’s hell is the inscription: “Leave behind all hope, you who enter here…That is why faith, wherever it develops into hope, causes not rest but unrest, not patience but impatience. It does not calm the unquiet heart, but is itself this unquiet heart in man. Those who hope in Christ can no longer put up with reality as it is, but begin to suffer under it, to contradict it. Peace with God means conflict with the world, for the goad of the promised future stabs inexorably into the flesh of every unfulfilled present.

– Jürgen Moltmann, Theology of Hope

If there is no vision of the future, we can easily reconcile ourselves with the present – the evil, the suffering and death.

– James Cone, Black Theology and Black Power

For I am my mother’s daughter, and the drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth… We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends… There is a place in God’s sun for the youth “farthest down” who has the vision, the determination, and the courage to reach it.

– Mary McLeod Bethune

Like millions of other black Americans, I am heir to the faith that was born the day twenty frightened black captives were unloaded at Jamestown in 1619. Their slow, courageous journey from the Dutch slave boat to the present, in the face of unrelenting oppression, is the story of their faith; and therein I believe lies the clue to the answer to today’s dilemma… Faith put steel in their spines to endure physical bondage, and the zeal in their souls to prevail against evil; it illuminated their minds to keep the vision of a better day, and inspired their hearts to learn and embrace the great human conversation. Faith gave them a sense of eternity, a mystical transcendence that transposed their pain into a song and their agony into a durable, resilient quest for complete humanity, the substance of things hoped for…Make no mistake, none of these were easy journeys. Every generation of black Americans has been forced to overcome new hardships. Yet I believe the faith that brought our forebears out of the midnight of slavery into the daybreak of Emancipation is still powerful enough today to respond to the despair of alienated young blacks.

– Samuel DeWitt Proctor, The Substance Of Things Hoped For

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