I wonder where most people gain hope in their lives. I teach religion and see the decline of good old-fashioned,organized, institutional religion. So, if faith or belonging to a religious group or community has been source for maintaining hope in the last, where does that come from going forward?
I am doing a wedding today. And weddings are incredibly hopeful events. They used to be connected to faith communities, that’s why as a pastor, I do them. But like most of my colleagues could attest, weddings are now distantly connected to the church. That doesn’t mean the people who are getting married no longer have belief, or faith, it just means they are decreasingly connected to a meaningful faith community.
Hope is part of the theme of today. And I see glimpses of hope everywhere. The Covid-19 vaccine is a hopeful thing. Spring has just brought us out of a dismal winter season. And people all around are finding ways to reconnect with friends and family after the pandemic quarantine. But there is also a dark cloud that lingers. Young people are captured by depression and anxiety. Suicide rates are up. And people are more lonely now than ever. And that was true before the quarantine!
I’d there is hope to be had. And if the church no longer is the broker of it like a religious commodity, how do hold into it and foster it for the sake of our sanity and wholeness? I’d love to know what you think. I’ll write more this week.