Their Hope Gives Me Hope

Photo credit: Bojan Gajic

Today I am particularly thankful for the business owners, restauranteurs, landlords, and entrepreneurs I’ve talked with over the past few days. They give me hope. 

They give me hope because of their compassion and sacrificial posture as they reallocate or liquidate assets and cut their pay so they can care for their employees a bit longer. They give me hope because they are weighing decisions in light of their confession that Jesus is King. They give me hope as they strive to apply the “one-another commands” of Scripture. They give me hope because of their understanding of liberty as citizens of God’s kingdom whose supreme law is love. They give me hope because they believe that self-emptying is the most faithful form of discipleship. They give me hope because they are pushing against the anxiety and narrative of fear so they can listen to the wise counsel of medical experts and exercise godly, patient, and trusting wisdom, rather than hurried and impulsive action. 

Despite the hard times, the anxieties, and the heavy weight they carry–payroll, non-negotiable contracts, lease agreements, customer base, inventory, a life-long dream and countless hours of building and sacrificing–I am thankful for how God is forming them as business owners and entrepreneurs of His kingdom. I am thankful for their witness to the never-failing, never-faltering, never-fickle reign of God. I am thankful for their example of what it looks like to pledge total allegiance to King Jesus and follow the God of Calvary rather than the god of economy. 

Will they be marked on society’s ledger as practical? Maybe not. Will they be seen as “winners” once this is over? Maybe not. But whose ledger matters, and what does it mean to be a winner, after all? The question I believe that’s worth asking is, will their treasure be stored in heaven and on that Great Day hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant?” I think so, at least that’s what the text says. 

Their hope gives me hope. 

Next time I find myself singing the verse, “My hope is built in nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness,” I will remember them, because in light of their vocation and position of power, the fruit they bore in a culture of greed during these perilous times will make them faithful witnesses to the song. 

To those of you reading this who fit this description but I do not know, thank you. Lead us in these strange economic times.

Bear witness to your King.

Your neighbor needs you to.

The Church needs you to. 

About Fred

Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience. Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas. Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
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4 Responses to Their Hope Gives Me Hope

  1. Thanks for this exceptional post. May God bless you as His servant.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bishopdfaith says:

    Thanks for sending this.  It meant much to me today as I went to Staples to return some printer paper that I had purchased in error—3hole 8 1/2 X 11 instead of plain printer/copy paper.  I had to go back as they opened at 10 am.  I pulled up next to curb & customer rep came out, picked up my case of paper, gave me a credit receipt & went & got me my order (remember a case of paper is HEAVY) & was so very courteous & helpful & did not complain or even sigh!  That was a good example of what / who you were pointing out in your article.



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