The world needs a little more hope. The discernment of my call to Seminary was, at a fundamental level, centered on a desire to help bring God’s hope shown in Jesus Christ to a world in need. Too often, unfortunately, rather than living as examples of hope, the followers of Christ have (both intentionally and unintentionally) made participation in our communities conditional, expecting people to meet a certain list of requirements or somehow earn their welcome.
My goal, as I begin my journey at Luther Seminary this year, is to be a part of a church that rises up to reclaim our message, realigning ourselves in a very public way with the gospel truth of hope and inclusion. This is so important because the world needs to know that the hope found in Jesus Christ is not just for those who find it easy to believe, but also for those who struggle, and for those who think they cannot believe.
In pursuit of this goal, I practice hope by seeking to engage in a ministry done in the imitation of Christ, to try to live how Christ lived, with the “least of these”, the poor in spirit, the meek, and those who have lost hope. I think all of us can identify times in our lives where we find ourselves more hopeless than hopeful and so we know how meaningful the message God’s hope feels when we are feeling empty.
It is my goal that, in living into a ministry focused on the imitation of Christ, I will allow myself to be taken to the places in our church and in our world that are most in need of God’s love, that I will be able to meet people wherever they may find themselves on life’s journey, just as Christ did.
Through practicing hope in this way, my goal is that I might help the church become an institution that has made such a positive impact on the community that even those with a strong dislike for the church and Christianity might be able to say, “Thank God for them, because they made this place a better place.”