What I Am Reading This Month:
The Good Life by Jay McInerney
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Zuckerman Unbound by Philip Roth
Theology and Ethics
Embracing Hopelessness by Miguel A. De La de Torre (an amazing Latino liberation theology response to Moltmann's Theology of Hope, future blog post)
A Community of Character by Stanley Hauerwas
Count It All Joy by John Perkins
I was looking at my Spotify Wrapped recently, like all you cool kids, and I realized I spent a lot of this year being intentionally positive. One of my favorite podcasts was For the Life of the World hosted by Miroslav Volf and the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, my favorite song was a cover of "I Won't Back Down" by Johnnyswim, and apparently I binge-listened to a catchy, not safe for work, upbeat song about a heroin addict a bunch of times without fully realizing it was about heroin addiction. Whoopsies.
When I look back about eighteen months or so, I see a slow progression in my own faith journey into hope. I picked up Jurgen Moltmann's Theology of Hope and The Crucified God and they both completely rocked my world. In my small corner of Christianity, language about Resurrection usually were restrained to a conversation about a single event. The way Moltmann framed the things that God was doing in the world and within us was amazing. As someone who worked in activist and peace spaces, Moltmann was an answer to my own prayer in understanding how to view my calling.
In 1 Corinthians 15: 9-11, Paul lists his own personal form of resurrection as proof that God was still in the world doing good. He writes, "I’m the least important of the apostles. I don’t deserve to be called an apostle, because I harassed God’s church. I am what I am by God’s grace, and God’s grace hasn’t been for nothing. In fact, I have worked harder than all the others—that is, it wasn’t me but the grace of God that is with me. " (CEB)
Being an Anabaptist at heart, I found a lot of commonality in Moltmann. It's not just about me - it's about what God's doing around the world now. Grace surrounds us. As we grow, that understanding becomes wider and wider. Jesus sits at the tables we would least expect Him to sit, and that is a radical invitation.
This upcoming year, I hope to continue to find God in unexpected places and to participate in resurrection in how I live my life. I pray to continue growing towards intentional hope.