2021 – Hope


1 Jan, 2021


2021 – Hope

By Andrew Clarke, CMD Lead

Having crossed the threshold of a new year, with or without a lump of coal, what is it that we cherish as our hope for the months that lie ahead? I’m deliberately using the words ‘we’ and ‘our’ here.

During this recent Advent, I’ve been reminded a few times that the Bible frames so much of the Christian hope as something that’s shared. I confess that, by contrast, I’ve more often focused, almost to exclusion, on a personal element: God’s grace in reaching out to save me, save you, save any individual who responds to Jesus by faith.

The Bible’s story is of God’s endeavours to call and involve a people in his mission of caring for (having ‘dominion over’) his created earth. This aspect of our mission remains our shared mission, but the Bible also reflects that it now also constitutes our shared hope.

Indeed, it’s not only our hope. The whole of God’s creation shares this hope that one day God will ‘unite all things in heaven and on earth in him’ (Ephesians 1:10). For so much of 2020 we have so clearly seen that creation is presently groaning, in so many ways – not least at the hands of those who have been charged with caring for it.

This year will significantly be marked by the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. For those who have ears to hear and eyes to see, is it not a remarkably biblical vision that ‘united nations’ might come together to express and even demonstrate a commitment to care for God’s good creation?

In 2021, may we, who know both God’s salvation and his hope, pray and act in hope that his kingdom, his dominion, may come, here on earth, as it is in heaven.

And, perhaps right around the world using lumps of coal will become a thing of the past!

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Prayer is at the heart of our Union. The prayer calendar is a framework to help individuals or congregations pray for all our churches throughout the year.  Every Sunday evening several hundred people from our churches across Scotland join in our National Prayer Livestream.