Currently, I am in Washington, DC for a meeting of the General Boad of Church and Society. Today, we had a day of training on how to teach our United Methodist Social Principles, led by Neal Christie and Clayton Childers.
Clayton led us in a time of worship this morning, focused on James 3, concluding with verse 10, "from the same mouth come blessing and cursing." He talked about reading an articlue in the Arkansas Annual Conference's newspaper by Bishop Charles Crutchfield. In it, Crutchfield talks about a favorite word of his: agathokakological, a word with Greek origins which means "composed of both good and evil." Clayton suggested that this can be a great word to describe the human condition - are we not composed of or torn between both our good and evil selves/urgings?
From there, Clayton talked about Jurgen Moltmann, Moltmann's personal experiences in Germany in World War II, his guilt-feelings from his experiences in the war, and his embracing of what would develop into his Theology of Hope during his three years as a prisoner of war. Moltmann's hope was in the coming of the kingdom of God, God's reign.
Clayton talked about vision. What's the most famous speech in history? Probably MLK's I Have A Dream. Clayton reminded us that this speech was not a statement of how things were, but a statement of King's hope for how things might be - his vision for the future, his hope for God's reign on earth.
Our role as people of faith is to figure out how we want to get "there," to the fulfillment of our vision and God's vision, from where we are now.
What's your hope? How will you get there?