One of the most well known stories in ancient Greek mythology is the story of Pandora and her box. According to the story Pandora was the first woman on earth. She was incredibly beautiful but charmingly deceptive. On her person she carried a box, one that contained “burdensome toil and sickness that brings death to men“, diseases, and “a myriad other pains“. On one occasion she opened the box releasing all these terrors upon mankind. Yet one item remained in the box and did not escape with the others:
“Only Hope was left within her unbreakable house, she remained under the lip of the [box], and did not fly away. Before [she could], Pandora replaced the lid of the [box]. This was the will of aegis-bearing Zeus the Cloudgatherer.”
Several interpretations have been suggested down the ages as to what the meaning of the myth might be. The most common interpretation is that the myth explains to us why suffering and evil are in the world and at the same time gives us “hope” to cling to so that we are not overcome with despair. It is no surprise then that hope has been, and still is, a central feature in so many cultures around the world today. It is a central feature because so many of us are holding on for something better, something that will fulfill us, something that will thrill our hearts, something that will complete us.
I chose the concept of hope to be a central feature of our identity, as a new church starting in the city of Cape Town, because I believe, in the very depths of my being, that in the great announcement of God’s love to us in Christ we have access to the ultimate hope. In the gospel we have access to the hope of something better, something that will fulfill us, something that will thrill our hearts and something that will complete us. In the gospel we have reconciliation to God and to each other through the precious blood of Christ shed for us. As you explore our church know that it is birthed out of a desire to deeply embrace that hope of the gospel and to see many, many others deeply embrace that same hope so that Christ may be known, loved, cherished, and celebrated in our beautiful, yet broken city.
From very early on my wife and I had strong desires to be involved in the planting of churches. Over time those desires started to be centered on one place: the urban centre of Cape Town. While serving on the staff of Monte Vista Presbyterian & Reformed Church the opportunity and support became available for us to begin work on starting a new church in the City Bowl area of Cape Town. In March 2012 a small Bible study group began meeting in our home in Green Point. As the group grew it became clear that God was building his church and so on the 19th of May 2013, Hope City Presbyterian held it’s first public worship service. We invite you to come taste and see what God is doing here as he seeks to bring his glorious hope into our city.
In Christ and for his glory.
Stephen Murray, Pastor