Hope

Pastoral Messages | May 21, 2015

Hope, it seems, can be very hard to find.

On Monday, I found myself at the gym, trying to do anything that would distract me from the painstakingly slow clock ticking down on the treadmill. So I looked up at the handful of TV screens lining the front wall, each airing a different channel. Yet, no matter which monitor I focused on, the message seemed the same: hope was in short supply.

There were news reports of continued earthquake devastation in Nepal, violent shootings in Texas, a deadly car accident in Iowa, droughts in California and concerns of ISIS involvement in the Middle East. Even the sports channel was running a story about a cheating scandal involving a professional football team. No matter where I looked or what I watched, the news was more devastating than encouraging, more overwhelming than it was insightful.

Often times it doesn’t take more than a glance at the morning news or a scan of the paper to begin to feel like there’s more evil in this world than there is good. But perhaps those are the very moments we should be thankful that our Christian vocabulary holds one particularly significant word: resurrection.

Yes, the celebration of Easter might seem a bit like a distant memory. It’s been the better part of 50 days since we gathered as annual witnesses of God’s capacity to overcome death & the grave. The plastic eggs have been put away for another year & the Easter candy has surely been consumed by now. But this assurance of the resurrection and its enduring hope remains a very present reality.

The truth is, we get to practice resurrection every single day. And, in the process, bring a good amount of hope back into this world.

There is, no doubt, a fair amount of heartache or hopelessness that surrounds us. And yet, every time we live as though Easter morning is a daily reality, we pour a little more goodness into the lives of those around us.

We make the resurrection a reality whenever we choose words that encourage rather than ones that hurt. When we share, rather than hoard for ourselves. When, in good measure, we add beauty and joy and kindness to this world. We offer new life every time we’re willing to forgive as we have been forgiven or love others as we’ve first been loved.

In the words of author Anne Lamott, “We are, in fact, Easter people living in a Good Friday world.” And while there is seemingly no end to the anguish that surrounds us, there’s also, thankfully, no end to the life-giving grace of God. Our task is to live each day as though new life & restored hope are just as real as the events that make the headline news.

 

 

Katy Warren, associate pastor

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