The Right Kind of Hopefulness

The vocation of The Church is to have the right kind of hopefulness. I need to say something about what I understand by vocation, The Church, hopefulness.

Vocation: a call from outside on the life of an individual or institution. Nothing can be said about the caller other than His name. God. Vocation is God’s call on you. You can listen or not but the call is always present. Every person, every institution has something they are meant to do. God has a plan, or at least an intention for everybody. The vocation comes in different ways for different people.

The Church: The Church is defined, first of all, by worship. Those people who worship together make a church. All the churches together make The Church. Membership of The Church is a serious business. Baptism. Various kinds of institutional life grow up in The Church but they are incidental. The Church is one and it’s various parts have purposes and vocations. The vocation of The Church is especially hard to hear since The Church has no institutional existence. Only the parts have institutional existence. I have written before about the peculiar vocation of the URC.

Hopefulness: Hopefulness is the living form of faith. The great truth of the Protestant Reformation is salvation by faith alone. I remain convinced that we can be saved only by faith. I’m not sure what we are saved from, despair maybe? I am sure that the only saving force is faith. The way to faith is hopefulness. What we hope for is less clear. Love maybe?


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