NRS Romans 12:9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.
In these last few days before summer vacation ends and school starts we have been having a Star Wars marathon of sorts. Most recently Emmett 11, Solomon 8, and I, watched and re-watched Rogue One, which might actually be one of my top four favorites (along episodes 4, 5, and 6). What resonated with me was the sense of hope, even in the midst of impossible odds, hope prevailed.
This text from Romans can regularly be heard as a benediction, and in fact, it is well suited as a benediction because it is a wonderful reminder of the many facets of our common calling to love, persevere, serve, be patient and to hope. In this day and age, particularly in this day and age, life is wrought with conflict, stress, injustice, and suffering, hence our call is to hold on to hope and rejoice in hope. Individuals, Christians, and communities of faith, are emboldened to be voices of love and hope, not to be silenced by the prevailing winds of conflict and destruction.