Aaron and I went today to the parking lot at the mall to tape a man-on-the-street video to be the lead-in for my sermon on July 9th. Before we got busted by mall security (who we will probably be on a first name basis with by the end of this whole Vintage thing), we asked a lot of people in light of all the bad things going on in the world, what hope they have for the world, what might make a difference. I was impressed by two things.
First, many people have no hope at all. They see the world going from bad to worse and don't have the foggiest idea what can be done about it. The first person we talked to, in fact, was a young mom who could diagnose the problem, but after several attempts at saying what her hope was, simply raised her hands and said, "I don't know." The most frequent answer we received was "I don't know." People either have not taken the time to examine and articulate where their hope lies or they simply don't have any at all.
Second, we talked to many Christians who identified Jesus as their hope. What amazed me was that many of them had no ability to articulate any specifics of how Jesus gives them hope for the world. One man answered, "Jesus." And when I asked way said, "Because he's the only thing that's real." Really? He's the only thing that's real? I'm not real? My green lantern shirt is not real? Pain and war and poverty and AIDS are not real? On the whole, I was actually more disappointed by the answers given by Christians than by the answers given by non-Christians.
Peter said to always be ready to give a reason for the hope that you have. I think we've got some more prep to do.