Acting Out Hope

Rev. David writes:

Hope, says Rebecca Solnit, “is the belief that what we do matters, even though how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact, are not things we can know beforehand. We may not, in fact, know of them afterward either, but they matter all the same.”

Staying home is an expression of hope: we may not know how or where we’d spread coronavirus, we may not think we’d personally even get particularly sick, but we believe it matters all the same to do our part to flatten the curve.

Reaching out is an expression of hope: texting your friend, calling your neighbor, video chat with your relatives. Reaching out says “you matter to me” — a reminder to them and to us that we’re all just people and we’re all in it together.

The Sunday morning service moving online this week was an expression of hope: that gathering together we ourselves may be transformed in ways we may not know or anticipate or perceive at the time – and that our presence, compassion, connections with others may be transformative to them as well.

Service to others is an expression of hope: when you make an extra donation to a food pantry; when the young adult goes shopping for their elderly neighbor; when you wipe down the front door handle of your apartment building. We believe that little bits of service matters in ways we may never know.

When we are a people of hope, we are keeping faith with the ancestors who brought us to this moment: ancestors who passed through their own catastrophes and trials because they affirmed through the generations that we are stronger together than apart.

“The end is not near.” It means the end of the world isn’t coming. It also means we’ve got our work to do. Hope isn’t something that just happens to do, it’s something you make real in your actions.