3 Cosmic Visionary

embracing horizons of hope

Questions for reflection

Of the three essential qualities that need to be in place for shalom to flourish, which do you personally find the most challenging?

How may we hold together mindfulness of the present moment alongside the cherishing a future hope that ‘all manner of things will be well’?

How does it feel to be told, “you are not going to heaven”? Liberating, challenging, frightening?

Where do you find the greatest challenge to embrace mishpat, ‘putting things right’ in the reality of your everyday life?

Further reading and further thoughts

“The mission of the universalist church has been a double one, first to contravert the one-time prevalent idea of an endless hell. This part of the mission has practically been accomplished. . . But the second and more important one awaits fulfillment . . . a fight which shall continue until the real, actual hells, before our very eyes, are destroyed.”
Henry Clay Ledyard

“If I were Jesus Christ, I would save Judas.”
Victor Hugo

“Hope is the ability to sense outcomes that are good and inspire us to live towards them.”
Noel Moules

Read: John 12:31-32; Isaiah 45:22-25; Rom 14:10-12

Gregory MacDonald, The Evangelical Universalist

Perry, Yoder, Shalom: The Bible’s Word for Salvation, Justice and Peace, Faith and Life Press, 1987

A peacemeal idea

Host a Peacemeal that gently helps shalom to flourish; nourish physical well being by enjoying a generous abundance and chosing your favourite recipes; promote justice by serving fairly traded ingredients; and seek spiritual integrity by reflecting on who you could invite to share the experience – someone who may need care, reconciliation or encouragement.

Living it out

Each day, as you meet people who despair of the future may your presence inspire trust, confidence and faith – be like an anchor of hope for them. Let them know you share their visceral yearning for a future that is different. Practically refuse to leave any stone unturned in your efforts to be part of building that hope now.

Make shalom your life-focus. Actively nurture the four core relationships: with God, with and within yourself, with other people and with wild nature; in each case focusing on physical well-being, justice in relationships and integrity in character. Embrace the six biblical shalom commands: seek peace, proclaim peace, make peace, live peace, pray peace and expect peace.

A meditation

It is vital that each one of us takes the time to sit quietly on the edge of the chasm of nothingness, to stare down into its bottomless depths and allow the vertigo to overwhelm us. This is a challenging meditation, and not necessarily a helpful one to engage in regularly. Instead, consider meeting with a close friend who you find it easy to pray or meditate with. Try this as a deliberate new direction for a one off meeting, and then reflect back to one another on how this ‘peering into the void’ has made you feel and how you might be able to weave some of these feelings into your everyday life.