Men of Expectation, Men of Hope,
What a weekend, we honor our fathers and celebrate freedom. We are reminded that when we are expectant we find hope and we are truly able to live and experience life. Fatherhood has the potential to lead men to live expectantly. “Learn to live in expectation and find life… we must live and learn from these human experiences and live in the expectation of seeing the Lord, of encountering the Lord. This is not easy but we can learn to live in expectation. “ Fratelli Tutti
This call to be expectant and live with hope now becomes instrumental in living out our Christian vocation. Fathers who are expectant offer hope and become models for living and leading their families. Men who in living out their lives in relationship with their wives and children are a wellspring of hope and truly encourage the family to keep hope alive. This communal and existential experience serves as a strong force enabling families and society to be transformed to be places that nurture hope and facilitate true living of the expectant life of faith.
The father who encounters the challenges of life, whether struggling to maintain work or start a career, to confronting the challenges of fatherhood in forming children to reach their full potential and he is expectant that not only will he make it through, but places trust in his faith that in the end he will experience hope.
On this day 156 years ago, the last African-American chattel slaves were freed in the United States, pursuant to General Order No. 3 issued in Texas by Gen. Gordon Granger of the Union Army. To be expectant and to live in hope means we also stand with all those striving toward true freedom, and to confess that freedom in Christ compels us to speak out against hate, police brutality, state executions, voter suppression, racial terrorism, mass incarceration, misogynoir, misandrynoir, and the rank heresy of racism.
To be expectant and to find hope requires our steadfast commitment to create a new normal based on hope. The old order of deception and lies that kept people subjugated must be replaced with the power of “truth and the Spirit of grace.” St Arnold Janssen Prayer
Paul in his letter says to the Christians of Corinth
“whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.”
Juneteenth and it’s celebration comes from expectations and hope. The tireless advocate 94-year old Opal Lee, the so-called “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” has dedicated the last four decades of her life to this cause, I would call her a woman of expectation a woman who found hope from her struggle. The expectation that blacks would be free and hope was realized when Gordon Granger, a Union general, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African-Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended.
You see we’ve learned that living the expectant life helps us to find hope even against crippling odds. The expectant Christian proclaim with hope, “behold, new things have come”. Although we celebrate this day of liberty we have much to be expectant of, we expect and are hopeful that the right to vote will be for all, the right to life and a respect for all life will come. In this expectation all lives will truly matter and be considered as valuable. It is here that justice and peace can embrace, when we can see the conditions of others as though they are our own and we seek to right the wrongs.
Let me encourage you to invite Jesus into your boat. Namely take Him with you on your journey. Taking Jesus with you is a sign of who has the world ultimately in His hands. Be expectant that with Jesus in your life the storms can come upon us and we will overcome. In Jesus’ presence you and I can find true and everlasting peace. Allow Jesus to speak His Power and will over our lives. Don’t worry he’s got this!