Wereld Broederschapsdag 2020
dit is, in Engels, het bericht wat uitging van de secretaris van de Mennonite World Conference ..
“So that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you” Ephesians 1:18 (NRSV).
“My wife does not have hope… she herself is Hope”. Sometimes I joke around with this phrase because my wife’s middle name is Esperanza: hope, in Spanish. In our family, we say that more than simply having the quality of hope, she embodies it.
Hope as result from faith in Jesus may be defined as the ability to see a new reality and to act based on it. It is to long for a different world and behave as if we were already in it. Waiting on Christ is never passive, never simply a feeling. It is to realize that there is already a new creation—here and now—and that through the power of Christ, we are a part of it.
Anabaptists in the 16th-century understood this. While many Reformers imagined how a church whose members have chosen it rather than being born into would look (separated from the state, practicing restorative justice and voluntary redistribution of goods), the first Anabaptists believed it was possible by the power of the Spirit and acted accordingly. They established new faith communities that beyond having hope became hope for the society of their time.
Nowadays, it is easy to lose hope. The polarization, racial segregation, exclusion, violence, rebirth of nationalism and threat of climate change is hopeless. Nevertheless, for followers of Christ, believing that tomorrow will be different gives us hope. Living accordingly to that tomorrow makes us an embodiment of hope in the eyes of others.
It is my prayer that today our global church—just like our ancestors from the 16th-century—can be hope for the world around us. That our church can be an alternative society where diversity is valued and reconciliation is lived.
Let’s celebrate the Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday by being hope!