Angela Wright made novel use of the Freedom of Information Act. Under the name “ilikemeninuniform”, she emailed Hampshire police and asked to be told of “eligible bachelors within Hampshire constabulary between the ages of 35 and 49 and details of their email addresses, salary details and pension values”. But Angela’s search for a man in uniform who might become her lifelong companion has left her tantalized. The police replied that there were 266 eligible bachelors, of whom 201 were in uniform, but that they couldn’t divulge names or email addresses, as such information is exempt under the Act. If she’s to find Mr Right, Ms Wright has work still to do.
There is a bitter sweet aspect to much of life. We catch a vision of how life might be and almost feel we have it within our grasp. Then something happens which makes it clear it may not be quite so easy. This can be an incentive to pursuing the goal with even more energy. Sometimes, though, it can lead to people giving up and even some anger that their hopes were unjustifiably raised.
The anger that mounted against Jesus during the last days of his life may have had something of the same cause. He had offered new hope for his people, a new kingdom ruled by God, not by the Romans or the religious elite, and people had flocked to welcome him into Jerusalem. But it gradually became clear it was not that easy. There was work still to be done. People felt their own attitudes and life-style were being challenged. There was disappointment that the vision needed fleshing out in ways that were demanding.
The hope Jesus offered inspires us too. If we want to see every detail spelt out or if we expect it to be achievable without disrupting the routine of our lives, we will be frustrated. But the vision Jesus shows us is intriguing and enticing enough to offer plenty of incentive to work for it.
Read: Jesus said: ‘For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.’ (Mark 8.35)
Rejoice: in the pictures Jesus offers of a world where God is in charge.
Reflect: Is there anything I do which might be standing in the way of a better world?
Remember: God continues to work for the world he wants even when we fail him.
Resolve: to let my hopes for the future, mine and the world’s, be shaped by Jesus.