Hope: An Acquired Taste
At the end of his book, Surprised by Hope, theologian NT Wright names three critical tasks of the Church as we participate in the Resurrection of Christ.
The first task is justice; that is, actively participating in God’s ongoing work renewing the world. Another is evangelism, announcing this new creation and inviting others to participate.
However, the third task he names may catch us off guard — the cultivation of beauty:
“Beauty matters, dare I say, almost as much as spirituality and justice… Part of the role of the church in the past was — and could and should be again — to foster and sustain lives of beauty and meaning at every level, from music making in the village pub to drama in the local primary school, from artists’ and photographers’ workshops to still-life painting classes, from symphony concerts to driftwood sculptures.
“The church, because it is the family that believes in hope for the new creation, should be the place in every town and village where new creativity bursts forth for the whole community, pointing to the hope that, like all beauty, comes as a surprise.”
This Easter, as we celebrate the Resurrection and the new creation Christ announces, we will be working to take Wright’s claim seriously. In this series we shall seek to identify, discern, and enjoy the beauty with which God surrounds us and inspires within us.
It may be that as we learn to cultivate a Christian sense of beauty, we will also learn to cultivate a unique sense of Christian hope.
This Sunday we listened to the stories of those joining our church community! As such,