Greetings WAC Community,
And Mary said: “. . . His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.” – Luke 1:50-53
Last month the Wyoming Association of Churches’ Spiritual Life Team sponsored a workshop on Cultivating Inter-Religious Dialogue: A Christian & Buddhist Exploration with guest leader, Rob McNamara, Integral Dharma Holder and Buddhist Zen Monk. Having been raised and educated as a Christian, one of the things that I fail to grasp about Buddhism is that their beliefs do not include hope, which seems to me to be central to Christianity.
As I understand it, Buddhists believe that hope is about a future and that we should live in the present and that hope implies living in the future. In studying Mary’s Song, quoted in part above, she is talking about hopes as if they have already happened, as if it is in the present. Yet in my mind, when I hear or read the daily news, it hasn’t happened yet as best as I can tell!
The Bible is filled with hope that things will get better, and every day I pray and work that they will. Yet when I look at reality, I wonder when what Mary is quoted as saying is going to actually happen. Perhaps we are not yet ready for the Kingdom of God.
With a new U.S. President Elect and new state legislators taking office in January, there is much speculation about what the future holds. Is their hope? How do we listen to the news and determine what is “Smoke and Mirrors” or illusions. What will be reality for:
● Stewardship of God’s creation?
● Those targeted for hate and discrimination?
● Health care for the sick – physical, mental and spiritual?
● Welcoming the strangers in need?
● Feeding the hungry?
● Compassion for the poor?
I believe that hope is central to Mary’s Song becoming reality. But hope requires diligence, planning and action. It requires education and discernment to distinguish illusion from reality. I need hope, but it’s not a stand-alone. We need to be prepared to oppose the worst and to pave the way for the best, i.e., the Kingdom of God.
Fear not. Be bold. Do justice.
P.S. The Wyoming Association of Churches appreciates your many financial gifts for our justice work in Wyoming for the oppressed. Click here. Or mail your contribution to WAC, PO Box 1473, Laramie, WY 82073.