Deeper Hope:

An Abiding Virtue

This book explores the meaning -- and application -- of Christian Hope. It takes the fuzzy concept of Hope and reveals it in everyday settings



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Meditation: The Right Time is . . . When?

After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" ~ Mark 1: 14–15
Who can live in the timing of God? It’s one thing to agree with God’s viewpoint intellectually; it’s quite another to express our agreement in concrete action. Jesus modeled agreement with the Father by doing God’s will in perilous times. In simple, direct language Mark’s gospel reveals that Jesus launched his ministry at the very time that the Kingdom message could get you thrown into jail.
In an atmosphere of resistance and oppression Jesus decided that the time was right to proclaim good news. Herod, a puppet-king of the powerful Roman Empire, had jailed John the Baptist because John’s preaching had threatened the status quo. Human wisdom would have suggested that Jesus keep things on the down-low until passions had cooled. You can almost hear the counsel of the worldly-wise in Jesus’ day: “Wait just a little while,” they might advise. “Let the rich and powerful turn their attention away from preachers in the countryside.”
Instead, Jesus modeled a ministry directed by the Spirit. In a world overrun by a pagan power, in a world rife with political scheming and considerations, in a world where caution was the order of the day, Jesus boldly declared that good news, the best news, was within reach. What kind of person tells suffering, mourning captives that freedom is within their reach? The source of his good news had nothing to do with the powers of the age and everything to do with the in-breaking of God’s time into their time.
It’s only natural to look for the “best time” to engage in ministry: wait until the economy is stronger; until the political climate is warmer; until the streets are safer, until your children are older, until your savings account is fatter. Wait. Jesus had a different schedule. He said simply, “The time has come.” He took into consideration only one factor: God’s Kingdom was at hand. The Kingdom of God does not wait on the future because the Kingdom is breaking into the present. God’s Kingdom was beginning to invade the kingdoms of the earth, and if God was on the move, how could Jesus remain still? It's still true today, and we are called to imitate his example. If God is on the move, how can we remain still?
Jesus is serving the best wine now because he dwells in the now. “The time has come” each day. Since Jesus inaugurated the in-breaking of the Kingdom, every day with God presents opportunities to announce and demonstrate the Kingdom of God. The only important question is whether we know what time it is.

Reader Comments (2)

In an insurance class I learned three distinct periods of our mortal lives; the learning years, the earning years and the retiring years.

My parents grew up during the great depression era to believe nothing was more important than bringing up their children well. They strongly sacrificed during their earning years so that their children might be the societal champions as by their perception they could not be. I love and respect my parents for their commitment to the future of mankind through my sister and I or, maybe, our children, or surely our children’s children; for sure in this land of one from us in the future if we just keep propagating in love and honor (Exodus 20:12).

I love and trust Jesus Christ, especially as we relate more and more with one another, ever more so than my parents, my children, my wife and even more so than the one I know most; me (Luke 14:26, Matthew 10:34-37). I have learned for certain that we all can contribute to the future of mankind today, irregardless of propagating our specie for potential future reward.

Today, even when neither I nor this particular time seems perfect, is not meant to be sacrificed in hopes that our offspring might contribute at a better time and in greater perfection tomorrow.

2 Corinthians 12:8-11

8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
11 I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the "super-apostles," even though I am nothing.


“Time is of the essence” and in each and every one of our lives “the time has come” to commit to the yoke with Jesus Christ that His power may rest on us, and we on it. This is equally as important in all three distinct periods of our mortal lives … all the many weaknesses we find in each is no excuse but is reason.

Ray, peace is unto you, also, thanks!

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHerm Halbach

Thanks for your observations, Herm. Peace!

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRay Hollenbach

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