A Future with Hope by Ronald H. Matthews

A Future with Hope
Rev. Ronald H. Matthews
Jeremiah 29:1-13
10/03/99

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is one of my all time favorite tunes. This is how I will always remember the late Judy Garland. In her role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, she personified for me and I suspect for lots of other folks, a fervent longing, a desperate hope that somehow we might all find our way to a better world. Dorothy could not predict the particulars of her future, but she believed in her heart of hearts that she could and surely would be able to get out of Oz and back to her true home.

Likewise, the disciples of Christ, look for another land, another place, which we know is our true and eternal destiny. As the writer of Hebrews described Abraham's journey in faith: "By faith Abraham...set out, not knowing where he was going...For he looked forward (hope) to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God...They were strangers and foreigners on the earth... They are looking for a homeland... They desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, indeed, he has prepared a city for them" (Hebrews 11). Hope is defined in the scriptures as the "evidence of things not seen". I have always been fond of the Indonesian definition, which describes hope as "the ability to see beyond the horizon".

A recent poll asked a sample audience, "What is the greatest danger of our age, ignorance or apathy?" One half responded, "I don't know," and the other half, "I don't care." While we laugh at this, it is probably close to reality. Many people in our world, even in our churches don't see a lot of hope for the future. That represents a great tragedy of the human spirit and it is part of Satan's Great Lie. God's true intent and promise is vividly illustrated in the story of Israel's captivity in Babylon. The people were in exile and frightened and filled with hopelessness. Some among them compounded their fears with dire p ...


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