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Holding a Promise of God
[Editor's note: This Advent season, we will be running a series of reflections on the Bread Blog from the San Francisco Theological Seminary. The reading for this post is 1 Timothy 4:6-14. Keep reading Bread Blog for more Advent reflections.]
By Eunjoo Choi
As good servants, we are told to put these instructions before our fellow sisters and brothers—particularly if we consider ourselves people who are willing to create our life as God wants us to do. That is to say, the liberty of our expression of faith in Jesus and in God depends totally on our relationship with God. But we have to be fully aware of our own responsibility to live out our faith.
These instructions are calling us to train ourselves in godliness by holding a promise of God for the life of present and the future. It is not we who have to keep the promise, but it is God who has to keep it. For us, what we have to do is hold on to the promise that was promised by God until now and toward the time to come. We are living in order to practice our hope in the promise of God in our life. Setting our hope in the living God is like saying "yes" to the God who is giving us our life now and to the life that is still waiting to unfold in front of us. So, training ourselves in godliness is to struggle to keep this hope alive.
But from where does our hope come? How can we have such a hope? What does it mean for us to keep this hope in us? This life-giving hope would not be real unless the living God already put God's hope in us through our life. The hope of God for our life is the source of our hope in the living God and in our life. No matter where we are at this point of our life, no matter how much we are disappointed with who we are, God never gives up holding God's hope in us, in our brokenness. This is the very source of our hope in God's promise toward our life. And keeping this hope in us is to struggle to act for the life to come. This living hope of God toward our life urges us to embrace God's "yes" toward us. Accepting God's "yes" is to say "yes" to our life in future. That is the ever renewing power of life generated only from the living God. This hope is the foundation of salvation for whole humanity.
Eunjoo Choi is a master's degree student at the San Francisco Theological Seminary.
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