Last month, I introduced the theme for CHHSM’s 75th Anniversary Celebration, “CHHSM 75: Promise of Our Passion-Driven Movement.” I focused on the power of God’s enduring paradoxical promise of a new creation that is both present reality and hopeful future.
The Passion of Christ’s final week incarnates God’s promise. The movement from the triumphalism of Palm Sunday to the agony of crucifixion to the hope of resurrection is played out over and over throughout the history of our “passion-driven movement.” We live it every day as we are tempted by the self-serving arrogance of the world’s false promise — a promise that creates the suffering our ministries are called to heal. And when healing happens, it is resurrection born out of our capacity to believe and hope in the promises of God.
German theologian Jurgen Moltmann speaks of the active hope of the early church. For these first Christians, the resurrection was a call to missionary vocation in the world. They believed that God’s promise of new creation could be made visible in history and was not a reference to some heavenly afterlife. Moltmann observes that this kind of hope motivates action for good because it affirms human capacity to participate in and advance God’s purposes.
It is hope that creates meaning. Meaning creates movement, and movement begets transformation. In his new book “Drive,” Daniel Pink examines three elements of what truly motivates: We have a fundamental need to direct our own lives, we want to learn and create newness, and we want to do better by ourselves and our world. Active hope, the invitation of God to be agents of the new creation, is what drives the passion of our movement. In our call to diakonic ministry, God gifts us with the freedom and capacity to realize resurrection every single day.