So I was driving home from a campus ministry meeting yesterday when I passed a billboard that caught my eye. Perhaps you have seen the same billboard, but it is the following:
It is obviously a dig at President Obama and the campaign of “hope” and “change” and I get it. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I am not even wanting to go into the political landscape right now. Rather, what it reminded me of was something I had written back around the election time and how as Christians we should not be buying into the rhetoric that made Obama out to be a savior because it wasn’t fair to Obama and it wasn’t aligned with a Christian understanding of “hope” and “change.”
This got me thinking further about how as Christians we should be talking about what we understanding to be the “real” hope and change. The hope that comes from the resurrection. The change that comes from grace and the transformation from a life of slavery to sin to freedom in Christ. What a powerful time to speak the truth of the Gospel! We are in a tough time of political rhetoric that points to many of our hopes being pinned on worldly institutions and ways of being. Now I am not saying that these aren’t things that should be addressed, they should. However, as Christians our hope doesn’t come from any political party or any “rights.” Our hope and freedom comes from Christ.
I find that my acknowledging that fact and living into that reality is empowering. Why? Because it helps me understand that no matter what situation I am in, I am free to be who God has called me to be. That doesn’t mean I will be free from pain, hardship, or even death, but it does mean that those things do not control me. Even if the United States of America for some reason decided to make it law that reading Scripture was illegal, that would not take away my true freedom. I would be free to worship God and read Scripture (there would be a temporal cost) and that right to choose to obey or disobey the powers that be would still be my free choice.
To me that is real “hope” and “change.” The reality that no matter what this world may say, I am free in Christ and have the freedom to choose Christ.