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In Theory: Hopes abound for the New Year

As the new year arrives, what are your hopes for 2014?

December 27, 2013

Turning on the radio this morning I was listening to a sweet-sounding string ensemble play a selection of Christmas music. The group's virtuosity was quite amazing. Without changing any energy and verve they moved effortlessly between sacred carols, Handel's Messiah, and seasonal sentimental songs while always returning to “Jingle Bells!” It was called something like “Christmas Cornucopia.” It was pleasant enough to hear, but it seemed to place all Christmas music in the same category. It caused me to reflect on the situation of media-driven news.

As we move into 2014, it is increasingly important that all of the news that we hear not be relegated to the same level of significance. The opinions of TV families who hunt game birds certainly have their place, however there are issues going on in the world that are more serious and more important. For instance, I hope that the diplomatic work between the president and Iran precludes the need for new sanctions against that country, and that some measure of trust can be engendered between our two countries.


I hope that the economy in the United States and around the world continues to recover, that people find work, decent housing, and healthy food. I pray that more and more states understand that all couples deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and that couples not continue to be relegated to second-class status because of their sexual orientation.

I hope and pray that public and private schools find more effective ways to teach and keep safe the increasingly diverse array of children who seek education. And I hope that houses of worship increasingly open their doors and their theologies to all kinds of people. Blessed, happy and informed New Year!

The Rev. Dr. William Thomas Jr.
Little White Chapel


There are two kinds of hopes. The first is our usual sense of wishing for something that might or might not happen. The second is the way the Bible uses the word, in the sense of confident expectation of something that will definitely happen. My hopes in the first sense are pretty simple and personal. I hope for a greater experience of Jesus' life and presence in my church. I hope more people in Burbank come to know Christ through our ministry. I hope for success in my wife's, daughter's and son's varied pursuits. I hope for success and fruitfulness when I work in my office and when I work in my garage on various projects.

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