Hope Is Not A Strategy

“Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.” Italian Proverb

Today is a first at Kimray. Something happened today that has not happened before in our 70-year history. Today Kimray has a female executive. I am very excited to welcome Kelly Jennings as Vice President of People & Culture and OD, and Isaac Farnsworth as Vice President of Facilities. These individuals have served as directors in their respective areas and demonstrated the personal character and competency that is indicative of Kimray culture.

This is also the first week of advent. Advent is the four-week period leading up to Christmas. It is a time of reflection and preparation. The weeks have been given various meanings in different traditions and the first week is often the week of Hope. It reminds us that we look forward to Jesus’ coming with hope. That hope is not empty wishing.

In Romans, Paul reminds us of an ancient promise, “The heir to David’s throne will come, and he will rule over the Gentiles. They will place their hope on him.” That heir was Jesus and his coming fulfilled a plan God put in place long before any of us were born.

Jesus’ life and ministry were filled with lessons and ideas that were revolutionary for his time. However, what he proposed was consistent with what God had intended. One of the most revolutionary things Jesus did was treat everyone with equal respect and care. Men, women, children, foreigners, criminals, the poor, the rich, and the sick, Jesus cared about and valued everyone. The culture around Jesus did not. The powerful and wealthy of the day used their influence and position to keep others down. People were separated into groups based on their level of wealth and education, their age and gender, how “righteous” they were, where they lived, and who their families were. Then they were treated better, or much worse, depending on how they measured up to those in power. Sound familiar?

We often consider ourselves much more advanced than the people and societies of Jesus’ day. Granted, we have cell phones and self-driving cars and microwaves, but in the things that should matter most we haven’t made much progress at all. People still judge others by their income, their gender, their race, their education, or any of dozens of things that can be used to divide us and cause people to feel and act superior to others.

Some people might think that a savior from biblical times is quaint, but not relevant for our “modern” times. However, the problem in Jesus’ day was exactly the same as the problem today. We need to hear that we are all loved and accepted in the eyes of the God that made us. If He loves us and sees us all as equals, we should too. The same thing that was in the way then is still in the way now. We are unable to love unless we have accepted the love offered by Jesus.

The simple message of Jesus’ life was “love conquers all.” God’s love conquers sin and death. God’s love, in us, conquers all the things that separate us. The community Jesus offers us is one of diversity in the parts but equality in the whole. We are all unique, but we are all loved the same. Advent gives us the opportunity to reflect on this message of hope. Hope that in love, we can acknowledge that each person has unique gifts and yet we are all equal in value. That kind of hope is a strategy. A strategy to change the world.

Kimray is a reflection of that simple message. In love we celebrate one another’s unique gifts and in love we accept each other as equals. Maybe that’s why we are so excited to celebrate the coming of the King of Love with hope.