It always amazed me during the campaign of 2008 how the words hope and change were maligned by one side because the other side used them as rallying cries. They were dismissed as "touchy feely" and those who embraced them were dismissed as delusional. By many who should have known better. It is one thing to debate the kind of change needed or just what our hope should be, but we should never dismiss hope and/or change as being bad.
Think of this weekend and the celebration of millions of believers. Easter is all about hope and change. Hope is bound up in the idea of resurrection. That death is not the end, that there is a future beyond the grave, called Heaven. Reuniting with love ones and the our great Deliverer.
And not just in the far future, but right now. As we read in Jeremiah, God said to the children of Israel "I know the plans I that I have for you ...to give you a future and a hope". In many other places God assures us that while in this world we will have hard time He will be there with us to get us through. An appeal to hope is not wrong.
And what about change? The cross and the empty tomb are symbols of great change. They were the ultimate change points of a life lived to challenge the accepted thoughts and conditions of the day. The religious conservatives of the day were much like ours today and Jesus challenged them constantly to lose their chains of legalism and realize the spirit of the Law. How many times did he say in the Sermon on the Mount, "you have heard it has been said....but I say unto you" ? He chastised them for putting "theology" (or ideology) above the welfare of people. He called for a life of sacrifice and demonstrated it on the cross, removing the barriers between God and man. That was some change!
Too often we get stuck where we are, and with things as they are, and lose hope of things ever getting better. Or we comfortable where we are and fear change, thinking it will only be for the worse. But God calls us to better things, to grow each day. And we who have faith in God should live it out each day, and be the first to embrace hope and change, now and forever.
Happy Easter everyone :)