September 2, 2020

The Signature of Hope

For years I’ve used a singular expression: “I have written it on the walls of my life.

Bill Knott

For more than 40 years, I’ve used a singular expression to mark the Bible verses, the pointed insights, and the maxims I wished never to forget: “I have written it on the walls of my life.”

Little did I know when joining the Adventist Review team 23 years ago that the metaphor of writing on the walls would one day cease to be only a metaphor—that I would actually be writing freely, even expansively, on the long east wall of our conference room. An enterprising member of our team some years ago painted the entire surface with “whiteboard paint,” immediately turning it into a giant “think-pad” of sorts, where staff members work out article ideas, themes, advertising campaigns, finances, and the occasional “Happy Birthday” message.5 1

Fifteen months ago, as we were planning “The Church I Want to Belong To” series that concludes with this September edition, the wall was covered with dozens of adjectives as team members called out the qualities and commitments that make them passionate about the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Hours of discussion, prayer, and even debate ensued as we honed the challenging bon mots from more than 70 to a specific list. Each themed statement—“The Church I Want to Belong to Is . . .“—was explored in sub-themes, curated articles, essays, commentaries, illustrations, and infographics. Perhaps never before in the 171-year history of this journal has there been such a sustained focus on the essential characteristics of the remnant church of Bible prophecy.

Suffusing all the adjectives written on the wall was a pervasive sense of hope—of aspiration. These 15 adjectives are “both now and not yet”—realities we have tasted just enough to hunger for their fuller expression in this movement we love.

Thank you for the privilege of stirring your thinking as ours has been stirred—for allowing us to lift up a vision of a faithful, diverse, and united body of believers in the three angels’ messages who live with clarity and passion toward the soon coming of Jesus.

Write these words on the walls of your life.