Dear Companions on the Journey,
The day after Labor Day marked the beginning of the school year for many students in Northern New Jersey. My drive into the office was slowed several times for school buses and school drop-off lines. The excitement for students and parents at the start of a new year was played out across the front of the five school campuses I pass everyday on my way to Episcopal House.
The start of the school year, like the start of the new year, can give us hope. A fresh start. A chance to do something differently. The option of beginning again can be full of hope, yet as faithful people hope is readily available to us.
It seems odd to think we have easy access to hope just days after another mass shooting, weeks into an ongoing water crisis in Newark, and months into migrant parents searching for children separated from them in our immigration process. Even in our darkest hour, God’s hope does not end, fade, or withdraw.
This hope, a gift that comes from God, carries us through complex and complicated times. It lifts our spirits. It motivates us to try one more time to make a difference. When all hope is lost, God’s hope continues to return to us.
How might we get this hope? Be still. Take time to listen for God’s leading. Put yourself in the presence of God and God’s people. Give yourself as much time to focus on your spiritual life as you do on the news, politics, sports, or shopping.
God’s hope is not ever removed from us, but we routinely remove ourselves from the merciful goodness of God’s hope. Even so, this hope remains ready for us. God invites you, every day, to a fresh start. A chance to do something differently. It is God’s gift to you and to the world. Take a moment, right now, and return to God’s hope.
Grace and peace,