This is the view from Richmond Hill, where I spent the morning planning and praying before returning to work next week after a wonderful sabbatical. I was joined by two kestrels, incessantly calling.

Finished Reading: The Flourishing Pastor by Tom Nelson 📚

Finished Reading: The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember by Fred Rogers 📚

Finished Reading: The Doomsters by Ross MacDonald 📚

Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.

-Frederick Buechner

Somehow I missed that Frederick Buechner died yesterday. I’m so thankful for his life and work. Here’s a good piece that Philip Yancey wrote about Buechner years ago.

Churches must become communities that cultivate radical hope.

How do we go about this? There’s no trick, nor is there any special “ministry of hope.” The church is a community of hope, and all of the church’s ministries and activities express and nourish hope. The word nourishes hope; prayer nourishes hope; singing nourishes hope; baptism nourishes hope; the Lord’s Supper nourishes hope. When we open our homes to the homeless, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked, we act in hope and bolster hope, as the Spirit builds our confidence in God’s promises and good gifts.

The church’s existence, activities, and ministries nourish hope because they are specific avenues of communion with God. God speaks in his word, hears our prayers and songs, claims us in baptism, feeds and feasts with us at the table, shines through us as we go out as lights in the world. God is the God of hope, not merely a God who gives hope or who is the object of hope.

How do churches nourish hope in an age when worlds are ending? By staying close to Jesus, our hope of glory. Simple as that.

-Peter Leithart

Finished Reading: Prayer by Timothy Keller 📚

Finished Reading: The Chill by Ross Macdonald 📚