Hopes and reality

This week is Holy week in the Christian calendar. Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday which celebrates the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem – the hope of Israel enters the holy city.

Samuel Pullenger

As Holy Week continues it leads us toward Good Friday and Jesus’ death, ultimately culminating in his resurrection on Easter Sunday. This week is a time to remember our collective folly, as humans who often choose corruption over human flourishing. But it is also a time to remind ourselves that there is always hope, no matter what situation we find ourselves in as individuals or as a community.

The story of Holy week portrayed in the Bible, begins with Jesus entering the city of Jerusalem on a donkey, with all the people celebrating his arrival, viewing him as the great political figure who would overthrow the Roman oppressors and lead Israel into a new, everlasting, reign of power. Though Christians believe that Jesus did usher in a new kingdom, it did not happen in the way the people at the time expected. They hoped for something that Jesus was not going to deliver.

I think we can often be like this when it comes to our political system. We vote in an election, in the hope that this new candidate will bring the chaos we are experiencing around us into order. We hope that the policies they bring in will finally deal with the financial struggles we are facing, allowing us to “get ahead” in life. We hope that the council planning and budgeting will create a township that will thrive as it looks to the future.

However, as we soon find out this new candidate, this new council, is not able to fulfil the hopes and dreams we had created. Instead, we often find that the new policies or plans seem to go against what we had been hoping for, leaving us confused and disillusioned. I think what we often forget when we place these hopes in people and policies is that they are just as human as we are. Not only do our councillors need to be held accountable, they also need to be encouraged and supported. It is good to vote for the candidate we think is going to do the best job of leading Te Awamutu into the future. However, they are not the ones who can fulfil our hopes and dreams alone.

The hope that Jesus offered was not that life would be perfect and that all would be well. Jesus’ death and resurrection offers us a life lived in a loving relationship with God and others. During Holy week we are encouraged to remember the lengths that Jesus would go to in order to bring new life to all of us, and to share that same love with those around us. I encourage us, especially in the way we respond to the council’s annual plan for Waipa, to respond in thoughtful, reflective conversation, in order that together we will lead Waipa into the future we hope for.


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