Posted by Forrest Parkinson

(Part 3 fin)
Principles of Hope

Q 10
Happy are you who are hungry, you shall be satisfied.
Fortunate are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
Borg-Powelson-Riegert Reconstruction (1996) ref:
Matthew 5: 4,6 & Luke 6: 21

Matthew 5: 4,6
‘Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
‘Blessed are those who
hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

Luke 6: 21
‘Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
‘Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.

Jesus Way Wave.jpg

Dear Jesus Way friends

Viktor Frankl was a psychoanalyst, philosopher and survivor of the Concentration camps of Nazi Germany. He wrote extensively on the psychological and spiritual reality of hope and despair.

From his great book, Man’s Search for Meaning, I’ve pasted here two well-worn quotes to get us thinking about the principles of Hope in our very human experience.

Naturally only a few people were capable of reaching great spiritual heights. But a few were given the chance to attain human greatness even through their apparent worldly failure and death, an accomplishment which in ordinary circumstances they would have never achieved. To the others of us, the mediocre and the half hearted, the words of Bismarck could be applied: Life is like being at the dentist. You always think that the worst is still to come, and yet it is over already.” Varying this, we could say that most men in a concentration camp believed that the real opportunities of life had passed. Yet, in reality, there was an opportunity and a challenge. One could make a victory of those experiences, turning life into an inner triumph, or one could ignore the challenge and simply vegetate, as did a majority of the prisoners. — P.72
The prisoner who had lost his faith in the future — his future — was doomed. With his loss of belief in the future, he also lost his spiritual hold; he let himself decline and became subject to mental and physical decay. Usually this happened quite suddenly, in the form of a crisis, the symptoms of which were familiar to the experienced camp inmate. We all feared this moment — not for ourselves, which would have been pointless, but for our friends. Usually it began with the prisoners refusing one morning to get dressed and wash or to go out on the parade grounds. No entreaties, no blows, no threats had any effect. He just lay there, hardly moving. If this crisis was brought about by an illness, he refused to be taken to the sickbay or to do anything to help himself. He simply gave up. There he remained, lying in his own excreta, and nothing bothered him any more. — P.74
Hope implies a sacredness of time; a context for a “bad-now” that finds goodness future expectations. The future, then impacts the now, good or bad.

Jesus teaches us that in times of hardship, suffering and real need, there is cause for hope. And he was talking to those who would be instruments of that hope as well as those in oppression.

CLICK to link to a Classic Study on Hunger, Poverty and Biblical Religion by Bruce C. Birch*

Thank you for all your support for Moira and myself. Moira will be leading next week.