Why We Still Prophesy Hope

ChristianityToday.com | 10/21/2019 | Staff
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In The New York Times’ 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones writes, “Black Americans have been, and continue to be, foundational to the idea of American freedom.” On the 400th anniversary of Africans arriving to this land as slaves, she makes the case that “It is we who have been the perfecters of this democracy,” that black Americans have pushed toward the country’s ideals in spite of their circumstances.

I’ve heard it said that history is a “dangerous” memory. It never lets us go until we attest to the wounds and commit to healing. It presses upon us that piercing but powerful word: love, love, love.

Society - Healing - One - Imagination - Awakening

Still, it is hard to see how society might change, how such healing might finally come about. Rarely does the one who injures another have the moral imagination to do right unless forced to. Even spiritual awakening, religious education, and visionary declarations have often bore bad fruit. Plenty of promises of peace and freedom only brought on further oppression.

Even if we don’t have all the answers now, we must bear witness. And we must prophesy hope.

Church - America - Legacy - Faith - Crucifixion

The black church in America offers a rich legacy of faith that—like the crucifixion itself—exists at the intersection of chaos and pain and love. Its stories shine through to our present day and remind us that history without hope is indeed a history without help.

“Hope begins in the dark…” I could never quite shake these words from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. This language of hope has recently become a theme in my life—not in the abstract sense, but as a living activity, a struggle, a commitment, a discipline.

Jürgen - Moltmann - Language - Hope - Resurrection

Theologian Jürgen Moltmann rooted the language of hope in the resurrection of Jesus and the praxis of protest. Sometimes hope seems to be the only language powerful enough to counter despair. Or maybe it’s, in...
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