(Picture: Rupert Ganzer for Creative Commons)
Hope is a word which gets lot of leverage. I even wrote about it myself last week. It’s more than a word. It’s more than a feeling. It’s deep in our soul. Under the surface, most of us yearn for something better. We all long for a better tomorrow.
Why? It’s in our bones, in a place almost unseen and untouchable. Born into a broken world, we all intuitively desire divine reconciliation and restoration.
We all have this Holy longing – whether we know it or not – and politicians, leaders or anyone in a position of influence give us an opportunity to unleash it. They tap into a divine longing inside every one of us. Give us a glimpse of a better tomorrow.
And often it’s just enough. Enough to gain our subjugation. Quench our desire to hope.
So genuine transformation, real revolution, is limited.
The hope we put in these kind of people is always false. Not just because it’s in the wrong person, (and anyone but Jesus is the wrong person) but because it’s the wrong kind of hope.
Let me explain.
In ‘The Matrix’ we see the people of Zion putting their hope in Neo. Expecting him to set them free from the control of the machines.
But what happens in the sequel? It is revealed the machines use the concept of ‘The One’ as a way of controlling people. Every version of the Matrix has it’s own Neo, Zion is always destroyed, and Neo ultimately selects people to be part of a new Zion.
The machines give people hope as a method of controlling them.
They know as long as they give the people of Zion a small amount of hope, the system of oppression will continue.
Is this really hope? Not for me.
Religion has been guilty at times of using Jesus to sell this kind of hope. Jesus is still used as a way of controlling people. Making people terrified of God in order that leaders maintain the status quo, and keep their grip on some form of power or status.
This isn’t hope. It’s an illusion.
Real hope is dangerous. It can’t be used to control, and it can’t be controlled. (you can tweet that here)
Even religious leaders tell us to hope of a better day tomorrow. The promise of heaven later. Forgetting Jesus said the kingdom of God is here now – and we are the ones meant to make this a reality.
And that’s real hope. Dangerous hope.
Dangerous to the system. And dangerous for those who stand for it.
It refuses to be controlled by the system. It doesn’t simply accept the status quo.
Real hope takes a stand for what really matters, no matter what the cost – like Jesus did. It speaks out truths which people don’t want to hear. It challenges us to confront the truth of ourselves and our culture, and do whatever is necessary for the love of Christ to be made a reality in those places.
Where do I see this hope today?
In organizations like International Justice Mission, who battle to free victims of violence, sexual exploitation, slavery and oppression. Or Charity Water, bringing clean water to the billion who don’t have any.
On a more local level, the Foodbank in my town – local churches coming together to provide food and clothing for members of my community who have none.
Organizations and projects like these don’t shy away from the real problems. They confront the reality of the world we live in, and provide genuine hope.
Unquenchable hope. Jesus’ dangerous hope.
Hope which says we don’t have to accept things as they are. Hope of a world which can be better right now.
And a Kingdom of God which can be here.
It’s time to bring dangerous hope to the world. Are you with me?
Have you put hope in causes or people which have turned out to be false?
How do you see false hope used to control people – and what can you do about it?
How can you inspire real hope in others?
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