The hope of Jesus is downright scandalous. First of all, that scandalous hope is available to every person that seeks it. Secondly, it is, as President Obama wrote, completely audacious because it is so much more than an optimistic belief that all will be well. It is, rather, doggedly believing that even if all does not end well, we will endure and refuse to be destroyed.
In his book The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus, Peter Gomes writes this:
Hope is not merely the optimistic view that somehow everything will turn out all right in the end if everyone just does as we do. Hope is the more rugged, the more muscular view that even if things don’t turn out all right and aren’t all right, we endure through and beyond the times that disappoint or threaten to destroy us.
The hymn says “my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” And it is so true that genuine Gospel hope sets us squarely on a solid rock, now and forevermore. My dependence upon good luck and granted wishes is not what hope is about. My hope is a living, breathing promise right out of a scandalous Gospel that claims unbridled faith in Jesus the Christ.
Please take a few moments to listen to a choral rendition of “The Solid Rock” at this link: