Our Hope is in God

Here in Wisconsin, this July will be different. The Republican National Convention will be in Milwaukee in the middle of this month. I will admit I am nervous about what might happen in the city. What sort of protests and counter-protests might occur, what kind of messaging may come forth, what violence may erupt. I have the same nervousness for our neighbors to the south hosting the Democratic National Convention next month.

Nonetheless, my ABC colleague in Vermont/New Hampshire, Rev. Ron Bouthillette (interim executive minister) reminded his region in a recent newsletter to remember that “Our hope is in God. Our calling is to participate in the mission of God in this world.” In an illusion to Mark 12 where Jesus is asked about taxes, Ron wrote, “Jesus is saying implicitly to us is that you and I can function in the systems and structures of a broken and sinful world and still be faithful to God.”

This is important to remember. We are here to participate in Christ’s mission. No political candidate is ever going to bring about the reign of God, only Jesus can do that. But we can live in this world, in these United States, and participate even when the systems and structures are broken.

By reading Ron’s words, I am encouraged and reminded that we not only have our hope in Christ, but that we belong to Christ. What happens here is temporary. When we read the New Testament, we are reminded that the systems and structures of the world never have the final word. Whatever happens at these conventions, even the November election, cannot ever have the final word because the Author of Salvation is still writing our story.

May we hold on to that hope, as Ron states:

We need to soak up how God’s gospel-shaped work always and forever creates a gospel people. Herein lies the challenge at election time. We are tempted to divide the USA into the good and the bad and to forget that the gospel has folks on both sides of political lines. Even more: we are tempted to think that the winners of the election are those who are blessed by God when the blessing of God is on God’s people. God’s gospel powered mission creates a new people, the church, where we are to see God’s mission at work. Therein lies our hope. Our hope is in God’s mission in this world, and that mission transcends what happens in November.

With you on the journey of faith,

Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell,

inspired by the words of Rev. Ron Bouthillette, Interim Executive Minister of Vermont/New Hampshire

Posted in News, Staff Articles.