Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hope to withstand the fire

In the opening worship service of General Conference, the sermon was centered on the idea of hope.

The bishop who delivered the sermon said that hope in today's world is becoming marshmallowy. It is becoming soft, appealing, but melts into the ground when it comes close to the first.

Hope from God is different from that. It is the secure confidence ina future reality. Hope is waiting with eager longing and unfettered imagination for the future.

Uganda has the highest orphan rate in the world. The orphans live in refugee camps, in horrible conditions. In an effort to bring hope -- not the marshmallow kind, but the kind that will stand the test of the fire -- some of the children were "rescued" and taken to a school that the United Methodist Church has established in the Area. The Hope for Children in Africa choir was formed. On a visit the area, the bishop from the South Georgia conference thought that this children's choir should travel to General Conference, and that his conference would fund it.

The choir sang "I've got a Friend in God" and danced during a Celebration moment in General Conference. The response was so overwhelming that the choir sang a second song.

Six months ago, these children were starving. Now they are fed, clothed, medicated and educated, and they have traveling to Texas to share the news that they are Friends of God.

Hope. Resurrection hope transforms lives and changes futures. Amen.

Image: Rainbow the other afternoon on the way home.



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