Hope: For Such a Time as This
I spent the afternoon yesterday at the funeral of a 32 year old friend, of whom I wrote last week. I was fine until I looked at the program and saw pictures of him on his jet ski, and playing with his kids, and read that he loved skiing and snowmobiling. Why, in God's name, does this person die?
Why do so many of my friends in the medical world grow weary of prayer, precisely because they see disease winning?
Why does there seem to be so much confusion about death, the after life, and the meaning of resurrection, both in the culture at large and in the church?
All of this is the backdrop in which I began reading this morning, in the quiet and incredible beauty of a clear, crisp, September Seattle morning, "Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church". I already know that much of what Wright says will not be new to me. I also know that much of it will. But most of all, I know that I need to wrestle with what it means, precisely, to live as an 'artisan of hope' in a world where 32 year olds die of cancer and leave a widow and four children less than six. I know all about our notions of heaven being a better place, but I'm wrestling right now with the meaning of Christ's life as it effects this earth, this life, this day.
I'm neither discouraged nor disappointed by what I've read so far, though I've just begun. This, it seems to me, is deeply vital material with which to wrestle, and I hope to know dialog, both with friends and face to face, in the days that are ahead. In the meantime, if you've read the book, or want to, and live in or near Seattle, let me know. We can all meet somewhere for food, drink, and discussion of the hope of the gospel.
Clinging to His Hope ...RD