The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A living hope

Assembly should bring us together

In recent months I have been speaking and writing about living and leading, serving and worshiping at the intersection of fear and hope. Although it has been important to name our fears and recognize what they do to us, we cannot let them define us and even risk becoming our fears.

Rather, it is time to bear witness to the source of our hope and its signs among us. Hear the source of our hope from the apostle Paul: “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). Hear the source of our hope from the apostle Peter: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

This living hope gives us confidence that is received from faith. Here are some of the signs of this living hope that I see as we approach the Churchwide Assembly (see "Twin Cities welcome '09 assembly") this month.

We go forward in confident hope because in the 50 days leading to the assembly, ELCA members are reading the Scriptures that will be read at worship during the gathering and are responding to the invitation to pray for the assembly and our life and work as a church.

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February issue


Embracing diversity