Last Saturday morning I heard an interview with a Western Bulldogs supporter, he had never seen them play in a Grand Final. He was 101. He was also a minister. In 1954 when the Bulldogs won their first Grand Final he was conducting a wedding. In 1961 he was a chaplain at a school in Tasmania and he was not given leave to attend the match. So on Saturday as a 101 year-old he was off to see his first Grand Final. He was so excited and so hopeful. I thought of him after the match – how was his heart standing up? Did he still have a voice? Were his eyes dry?
Hope is such a powerful thing. It keeps people believing long after others have given up. Conversely, to be without hope is to be in a state of despair. Too many people live in our world without hope of anything changing. I think of the asylum seekers in Nauru or Manus Island and wonder how they could have any hope of things changing. I think of those in Aleppo and wonder what hope they have of ever living in peace. In too many places in our world, hope is in short supply.
Faith and hope are connected. In the Bible God is described as the ‘God of hope’. The psalmists often describe a situation that looks fearful and then say ‘but my hope is in the Lord’. What happened last Saturday brought great happiness to those who have lived in hope for a long time, but we know that sometimes the things hoped for don’t happen. Yet when our hope rests in God’s goodness and faithfulness we continue to have hope, even when things don’t go as we had hoped.
May God bless you.
Senior School Chaplain