Monday, December 15, 2014

Hope Agents

“And whenever I see people engaged in that work of love, 
I sense the divine presence brushing us with a touch so gentle you can miss it, 
and yet know beyond all possibility of doubt 
that this is what we are called on to live for, 
to ease the pain of those who suffer 
and become an agent of hope in the world.”  

“Hope is not costless in the way that optimism is.”

                                                      Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

It is easy to forget who we are and what we do!  I was reminded this last week in two ways, by the book The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and the public attention to the heroes of our time.  The Time announcement and the CNN Heroes helped us see the reality of Hope.  We were all reminded of the reality of vocation.

These headlines were not about fear, equality or even the stock exchange. It was about dedication and the reality of disease that got the attention of the world.   It was about the definition of “heroes” as those who create those safe spaces in a world of threats and pain.  It was about being healing agents by bringing Hope to a suffering world.

The message for me was the importance of the integration of our theology with the reality of our world and the meaning it brings.  We have seen the deeds before and we were reminded again of the reality of God’s work in the world.  



Sacks, Jonathan (2012-09-11). The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning (p. 206, p 242). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 

Hage, M. L. (2012). God’s Grace. Retrieved from 

Hage, M.L. (2014). The Limits of Healing? Retrieved from 

Hage, M. L. (2014). Healing Ebola. Retrieved from 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ancestry Gift

Start children off on the way they should go, 
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.   
Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, 
that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
1 John 3:1 (NIV)

It all started with a request from our granddaughter to provide five generations of ancestors for a school project.  That wasn’t too hard, but finding the specifics and the stories behind these names was harder.  The good news is that we rediscovered some wonderful ancestor stories already in our possession.

What was more important than the pedigree of names, dates and places were stories of a sustaining faith even in the face of very difficult circumstances. The obvious question is “Are those characteristics of strength, courage and faith, elements of nature or nurture?”  Will this school assignment teach these life lessons?  Will sharing the stories help us live our own story with more purpose and meaning?

There is a lot of debate theologically and scientifically about the origins of faith and meaning.  Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in his recent book, The Great Partnership: Science, Religion and the Search for Meaning, articulates a comprehensive response that promotes the integration of these perspectives.  

As a new grandfather, I thought it was important to document the early history of my grandchildren, so I made short videos of their births and baptisms.  Now, questions about our family history are new chapters in their stories. What a gift to be invited to be a partner in learning with them the stories of our ancestors!


Sacks, J. (2014). The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning (Reprint ed.). Schocken