Too often, though, what passes for hope is little more than wishful thinking, daydreams, false optimism, or "Let go and let God" attitudes. These passive, "warm-and-tingly" beliefs lead us nowhere of value and can actually be harmful to our faith.
Indermark pushes past these interpretations to consider the hope found in what's already ours as children of God. While acknowledging the familiar longing for intimacy with God as a yearning for our ultimate home, he pushes us to a hope in the now that provokes, perturbs and pervades our faith.
Authentic hope involves action, and action involves choices. It reminds us of God's presence and ultimate purposes. Indermark invites us to be formed by true hope---a journey not only toward God but with God. It's an attitude of knowing all is well, not wishing that all will be well.
"Hope is not limited to a by-product of human endeavor," Indermark writes. "Even when we or others fall short of our calling to embody the world of God, hope does not fail. God does not fail. God's purposes for us and for creation will come to pass."
God, always true to the covenant, holds open a loving, just and transforming kind of grace that draws us into relationship---a homecoming. This relationship can and does change the world. As forgiven and fearless children of God, we extend to others the same love, justice and grace we've received.
Chapters invite us to consider Scripture alongside stories from fellow faith sojourners. Included are daily exercises and Scripture readings in addition to plans for nine weeks of small-group meetings. Hope is an ideal Lenten to Easter study. Whether reading on one's own or as a part of a group, these guides are a great help to living Godward and considering hope as an action as well as a conscious choice rather than a topic.
Are you ready to embrace and live this risky but wildly hope-filled journey home?