(thought I'd break from the 'big face shots in yer face' pattern a bit. A wee warning: this ain't your typical 'tyg' light reading)
Ivan Klima, a Czech writer and a native of Prague, on Hope:
Hope is always connected with the future. It is the capacity of a person to imagine himself in a situation different from the one he finds himself in. What, therefore, can be more human than hope?
Death too is connected with the future. And what can be more antithetical to hope than death? In this light, hope can be seen as a vain attempt by man to avoid an awareness of the end, as temporality resisting timelessness, as a desperate attempt to drown out the silence of the universe.
Because death appears to be the only absolute in human life, all hope is relative, an illusion that helps man make it to the gallows.
Looked at absolutely, true hope can only be offered to man by someone able to invest that final necessity with hope, by someone capable of guiding man through the valley of the shadow of death.
And just who, I hear some of you ask, is this 'someone'? The favourite Sunday School answer, complete with the exclamation mark, once again comes to the rescue here.
I listened (for the fifth time?) to the sermon by Jonathan Lamb, 'Reasons for Rejoicing' on 1 Peter 1:3-12. It was a sermon I first heard at the 2002-3 CICCU Houseparty. If you go to the website, you can search for the talk (serial number 'C03BT1'), or for that matter many other great talks on all kind of subjects, and download it for free.
God sent me to Yale for a reason. And listening to that sermon I could see a little more clearly what that might mean for me today, this week, and for the rest of my days this side of glory.