Comment from Harborough churches: Hope is one of the greatest gifts we could ever receive

Every week, representatives form churches in Harborough write for the Harborough Mail. This week, it is the turn of the Revd Christopher Brown, pastor of Market Harborough Baptist Church

By Revd Christopher Brown
Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 10:13 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 10:15 am

Viewpoint by Revd Christopher Brown, pastor of Market Harborough Baptist Church

On a Tuesday evening my phone pings and reminds me that I’m playing football down at the leisure centre with a top bunch of lads (truth be told most of us are hitting 40 except for a handful of annoyingly quick young‘uns).

When I hear the ‘ping’ I sigh as I know that for yet another week I won’t be playing – I won’t be bossing that midfield, sprinting up and down the pitch, pulling the strings, making sublime assists and scoring epic goals. Or more likely failing to complete a single pass, hobbling around the pitch hoping my weak ankle doesn’t twist, missing open goals and getting nutmegged (that humiliating moment when a player passes the ball through your legs, everyone cheers and you want to cry).

Revd Christopher Brown, pastor of Market Harborough Baptist Church

I suppose I could delete the reminder, but to be honest, I don’t want to. The ‘ping’ on my phone gives me hope, hope that in the coming weeks the football pitches will be open again, I’ll see the lads again, we’ll put on those stinking bibs and play the sport we love.

Hope is one of the greatest gifts we could ever receive – and I’m not talking about wishful thinking, but about a deep confidence that there is good to come. The greatest source of hope in my life is found not in football (shocking, I know), but in the community of faith I belong to. At the heart of this Christian community is the living hope that all the good God has promised us will happen – partly now and then fully in the life to come after we pass through death (that thing so often hidden but has now barged its way into our lives in often devastating ways).

God has promised us that through his Son, Jesus, and our trust in him, the suffering, pain and death of this world will not be the last word, but that ultimately in God we will experience new life and new peace in our relationship with him, with one another, and with the natural world around us. It’s the promise that instead of viruses and disease there is healing and wholeness, instead of darkness and grief there is light and joy, instead of injustice and discrimination there is fairness and equality for all.

In these past weeks I’ve seen how this hope has led so many to reach out to others in love, kindness and generosity, in friendship, grace and service. And so, as I clean and prepare my football boots, I pray that we all, and especially those who are suffering in some way because of this virus, will know this living hope that comes as a gift from God, this hope of life, love and peace. You are all in our prayers.

Revd Christopher Brown is the pastor of Market Harborough Baptist Church Links to on-line resources from other churches can be found at