Read Romans 8:22-27.
'For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.' (Romans 8:24-25)
Christian Aid Week is a week when we put our hope into action. Our hope that another world is possible. We may be waiting for the hope we do not see, but our waiting is active not passive.
If anything our hope grows with the waiting. Even amidst the loud groans of all creation we long for, look for and listen for that other possible world that Arundhati Roy tells us is 'on the way, if you listen very carefully you can hear her breathe'.
To put flesh onto our hope the 70 Munros challenge took on a special Christian Aid Week dimension.
We travelled the length of mainland Scotland to summit the three Ben More Munros - one found on Mull, one near Crianlarich and the third in the far north-west, Ben More Assynt. The week ended by walking Ben Hope, the most northerly Munro, in Sutherland.
‘We will walk this week and every week with the message of those mountain names - more, more and more hope for the world.'
When we participate in the work of overcoming poverty we walk this week and every week with the message of those mountain names - more, more and more hope for the world.
An added connection between this latest mountain journey and Christian Aid Week was the appeal's focus on Ethiopia, the most mountainous country in Africa.
We were conscious as we walked of Loko's story, the 29 year old woman with a young family who has to walk for up to eight hours each day, going to and from a mountain to cut wood. She carries this woodpile on her back to sell as firewood at the market to just get enough for her and her family to survive.
Her backbreaking journey in plastic shoes, hoping to avoid the thorns, was far removed from our padded rucksacks and sturdy boots as we walked the mountains of Scotland last week.
But it was for her and for the many like her that we walked, to put our hope into action and to get a mountaintop view of this other possible world that we hope for, where woman like Loko and their families do not just survive, but thrive.
The writer of Romans speaks of a patient waiting, but theologian Jurgen Moltmann pushes us to consider a different kind of waiting.
When faith develops into hope, it 'causes not rest but unrest, not patience but impatience. It does not calm the unquiet heart, but is itself this unquiet heart ... Those who hope in Christ can no longer put up with reality as it is, but begin to suffer under it, to contradict it.'
Whether patient or impatient, our hopeful waiting is active, doing what we can to bring about the world where all have enough, where all live an abundant life here and now, fully alive to the glory of God.
This is our hope and we will keep walking, working and praying, as we have done for 70 years, for the day that it comes to pass in fullness and not just in part. So help us, God.
Give us a mountaintop view, God
A view of justice and peace realised
A view of harmony and love known
A view of strength serving weakness
A view of life lived fully here and now
A view of equality and respect experienced
A view of grace and mercy shared
A view of creation set free
Where all the groans are hushed
Where all trauma and hurt is healed
Where all pain is soothed
Where all fears are calmed
Where death is overcome
Where all tears are finally wiped away
Except the tears of joy!
Resource, equip and inspire us to bring your Kingdom
Here and now, that it might be on earth as it is in heaven.
In the name of the one who came and overcame, Amen.
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