By Caleb Hennington

Digital Content Editor

As 2019 seems to leave just as quickly as it arrived, I’m left thinking about everything that took place this year and what will inevitably occur in 2020.

This past year was a rough one for many of us in the United Methodist Church. Of course, everyone knows what happened in February in St. Louis, so I’m not going to spend time reopening a wound that has yet to even begin to heal.

Rather than reminisce on the darkness of 2019, I want to look forward to the light of 2020. Or rather, my hope for the light in 2020.

While a vocal group of people sees a split in the church as an inevitability, there are also many people in our church, voices that often don’t get as much media coverage, seeking reconciliation from our past fights and looking for ways that we can stay together, both physically and spiritually.

I have hope that a message of unity and love will break through the division and hate that seems determined to cast a heavy cloud over 2020.

I hope that all of us, no matter which side of the argument we fall on, can remember that, despite our differences and strongly held convictions, we are still sisters and brothers in Christ. We are still called to love one another with the same love that Christ so graciously extends to us.

The night that the final vote occurred in St. Louis, I posted the lyrics to the hymn “Blessed Assurance.” I found comfort in the lyrics, and I said then, as I still believe today, that I sometimes find deeper meaning in hymnals than I do in scripture.

So as I think about 2020, and I hold onto the hope for reconciliation and redemption, another famous hymn comes to mind.

Read the lyrics below, and I hope you’ll join me in praying — and hoping — for a peaceful and compassionate 2020.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

-“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” or
“The Immutable Basis for a Sinner’s Hope” by Edward Mote