A very dear friend of mine reminds me of why I do the things I do. He says something like this, “I don’t want to give you a swelled head or anything but I would have given up this ‘Christian’ thing long ago if it weren’t for you.” When I asked him to explain he tells me how often he fails and tells me but he gets the sense from me that he is still accepted, that God still loves him and there is hope! Too often in the past when he failed to live up to the ‘Christian’ standard he felt shame and tossed in the towel and went back to his old way of life.
I am thrilled by this and I will not let it go to my head because it is my own awareness of my propensity to ‘blow it’ that has caused me to test and to know the unconditional love of God in Christ. I believe and live the good news of Chumbawamba “I get knocked down! But I get up again”
God is not the God of the second chance He is the God of another chance! We have hope not because we will ever get it right, though I think it is good to fail in new ways rather than in the same manner over and over. Our hope is not in our performance but in His grace!
At Up Town we describe ourselves as “An honest accepting community of broken people” and I like to add after that “of whom I am chief!”
One of the Desert Fathers, Macedonius, said “It is the property of angels not to fall. It is the property of men to fall, and to rise again as often as this may happen.”
My mind is very much consumed with the preparation of a ‘vision casting’ message for our Street Hope launch on Sept. 14th (visit our web site for more information www.streethope.ca ) and I am captured by the idea of this enduring hope we find in the God of another chance but the theology of another chance is ineffective apart from a community that reflects the doctrine in its life. My friend gives me hope that such a community is possible not because we are especially able but rather because in our inability we rely on His grace.
Please pray for us and our launch. Also my ‘evaluation’ with Community Chaplaincy has been postponed until Sept. 12 and I would appreciate prayer for that.
Finally I want to leave you with a question. Where do you find hope? Please share in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you.