Forty Years Ago, Words of Hope

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, church leaders considered adding a new document to the official statements of the Presbyterian Church.  Those were turbulent times for American society, including the church, so the proposed document did not get the support it needed to become a fully endorsed denominational statement of faith.  However, in 1977, the PCUS (which would later become part of the PC(USA)) approved the document, entitled A Declaration of Faith, for use in worship and study.

Here is a portion of the Declaration.  Speaking to us from the past, these are words of hope for today.

Hope gives us courage for the struggle.
The people of God have often misused God’s promises
as excuses for doing nothing about present evils.
But in Christ the new world has already broken in
and the old can no longer be tolerated.
We know our efforts cannot bring in God’s kingdom.
But hope plunges us into the struggle
for victories over evil that are possible now
in the world, the church, and our individual lives.
Hope gives us courage and energy
to contend against all opposition,
however invincible it may seem,
for the new world and the new humanity
that are surely coming.
Jesus is Lord!
He has been Lord from the beginning.
He will be Lord at the end.
Even now he is Lord.

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