Communicating Hope amidst Diversities
We need to start Living in Hope to communicate Hope. The Christian is to be seen as a "hoper," someone who is impatient and terribly dissatisfied with the current status of the world. The theology of hope advocates active participation in the world in order to speed the coming of that better world.
In April 1963, a large gathering was held in the Albert Hall, London. Thousands of men and women came to this congress from every comer of this earth. They were Americans, Mexicans, and Brazilians, Africans, Indonesians, Australians, the Lutherans, the Evangelist, the Liberalist, the Anglicans, the Roman Catholics and the others. People had come from all over the vast continent of Asia and Europeans from Lapland to Spain were all to be seen in that unusual gathering.
Here we could see that every nation, every age, every color and religious background were represented in the gathering. The most wonderful thing about it was that all these people were united in their views and were working towards the same goal and mission and that was “To work for Unity in Diversity”.
Yes, for the first time in the history of humankind, people had gathered from every part of this planet, from every denomination not to solve their differences but to work in complete agreement. It seemed like a dream, a miracle.
Could the various nations, the different denominations really come together? Could the races, the People of Other Faith accept each other as one people? Could the Christian and Hindus, Muslim and Jews, the Zoroastian and Buddhist, the Liberals and Evangelicals, The Catholic, Episcopalian, the Methodists, and the Assembly of God could work together as children of One God? the dream had indeed come true, the miracle had happened. The people who gathered in the Albert Hall in 1963 proved that a new age had dawned upon our world, that the brotherhood and sisterhood of humans could now become a reality.
Friends, the hardest thing in the world to unlearn is exclusiveness. Once people or a section of people get the idea that they are specially privileged, it is very difficult for them to accept that the privileges which they believed belonged to them and to them alone are in fact open to all human beings rather I would say to all creation of God.
And that is what the Jews (when I say Jews, I say Jews not in general but in majority) never learned this. They believed that they were God's chosen people. They believed that at best, others were designed to be their slaves and the worst, that they were destined for elimination from the scheme of things. Yes, the majority of them were ignorant of the value and the Glory of ‘Diversities’ in the world.
Diversity is a gift from life. Without it we would all be the same and life would be boring. Yes! Diversity has brought us great pieces of art, music, food, and clothing. Amazing films have impacted our culture, thanks to the differing points of view brought to the table by directors, writers, and actors. We all live together, yet we all experience life so differently. It's a great opportunity to see life from a new perspective and experience a whole new world that we didn't see before.
Yes Friends, while we acknowledge diversities in the world - between nation and nations, between denomination and denominations, between class and classes, between religion and religions, we should remember this that there can never be one nation, there can never be one church, there can never be one class and there can never be one religion.
Thus, as Citizens of the country, as people of other Faith, as individuals of all strata of society and as Christians, the only thing that can cross the barriers and wipe out the distinctions today is to acknowledge the Glory of God’s creation and the value of its Diversities. Not only to acknowledge this rather to be the part and parcel of Communicating Hope amidst Diversities to the creation of God.
First of all, we need to start Living in Hope to communicate Hope. Jurgen Moltmann of Germany championed the theology of Hope. Moltmann's experiences in a prisoner-of-war camp at the end of World War II led him to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in which hope played a great part. This subsequently influenced his theological studies. Moltmann believed that God's promise to work in the future is more important than what He has done in the past.
The implication of this focus on the future is not withdrawal from the world, but the hope that a better world will somehow evolve. Rather, the theology of hope advocates active participation in the world in order to speed the coming of that better world. The Christian is to be seen as a "hoper," someone who is impatient and terribly dissatisfied with the current status of the world.
While living and practicing Hope, we can hope that the economy will be strong, that terrorists won't injure us, that justice will prevail, and peace and harmony towards the creation of God will abound in every corner of the world. Hope empowers us to live today. We seek to love, knowing that Love will one day be victorious over hate. We seek justice, knowing that the Just Judge will one day make all things right.
George Weinberg writes and I (quote) “Hope never abandons you, you abandon it”.
Today as Christians and the Churches, we have done a poor job of communicating Hope amidst diversities. What we need to do is show our fellow human beings, the animals, the birds, the trees and plants and all the other creation of God that we're not against them, that we have a compelling story and that the story can change their circumstances. When that happens, I believe that they will listen, yes they will definitely listen. Thus we need to keep our focus on reaching the world with a message of hope.
I'll conclude this message with the words of Martin Luther King, Jr as He says and I quote:
“Men (I include here in place of men as Creation of God”. Listen to this as He says
“Creation hate each other because they fear each other,
and they fear each other because they don't know each other,
and they don't know each other
because they are often separated from each other.”
May the Lord anoint each one of us with His Holy Spirit so that with one mind and spirit we strive to become the communicators - communicating the message of Hope amidst Diversities.
Rev. Dr. Joel Patrick is currently working as the Associate Professor in Communication at Bishop's College, Kolkata.
Photo by Ian on Unsplash