Scripture Reading — Luke 15:11-24
Love … always hopes…
—1 Corinthians 13:6-7 —
A young man grows up as the terror of his neighborhood. He steals and lies. People can’t stand him. In his teens he starts to deal drugs. People at school write him off. The police discover he’s a skilled criminal and shut him up in a penitentiary.
But when a reporter interviews his mother, she says, “Chuck was always such a good boy.” She even adds wistfully, “If the governor released him today, he’d be a help in the neighborhood tomorrow.” It’s sweet for the mother to think well of her son. But if that reporter interviewed Chuck’s fellow inmates, they’d say his mom was delusional, that Chuck doesn’t have a chance at being good.
In the Bible hope is always grounded in the strength and power and grace of God. That can make a difference, even in the life of someone like Chuck.
The city of Corinth was a moral slime pit. To call a man a Corinthian was to call him a moral sewer dweller. Their parties were orgies to the nth degree. But one day the apostle Paul went into Corinth and preached “Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:23). Many laughed and went back to their revelry. But others listened and believed.
We are sometimes tempted to give up on people. But God does not. Not even on us. No matter what we’ve done—or left undone. Love always hopes for its neighbor, its coworker, its child, even for itself. It hopes because it is of God.
Father, I’m not where I want to be, but by your grace give me hope that I can reflect the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.