Sunday, March 31, 2013

We know the final outcome, we know the final word. The tomb is empty!
And it is exactly because of this empty tomb that we can know that the light that has burst into the world and has given us a hope that can rise above all things.  For the resurrection hope is what the human heart can run on. 
Hope is what prompts a man and a woman to stand before family and friends and promise “I do” even though they have no guarantees.  Hope is what fuels those same couples despite years of promises broken and hearts damaged, to give their original promise another try.  Hope is why human beings keep bringing children into this fallen world.  Hope is why we build schools and colleges.  Hope is why we build hospitals.  Hope is why there are therapists and counselors.  Hope is why parents agonize over what to do when their children are going through different issues and trials.  Hope is why the farmer plants seeds.  Hope is a composer who starts a piece of music, an artist who picks up a paintbrush, or an author who begins to put words down on a piece of paper.  Hope is why we set our alarms in the morning.  Hope is why the Cleveland Browns even bother to have training camp! 
Hope is why Abraham left his home.  Hope is why Joseph tells dreams. Hope is why Moses is willing to take on the Pharaoh.  Hope is why Samuel anoints the kid David.  Hope is why the prophets are willing to take on the society.  Hope is why John the Baptist begins to baptize people with water.  Hope is why Peter leaves his nets, why Zaccheus climbs down the tree, and why Matthew gives up tax collecting.  Hope is why these same disciples huddled together, stayed together and then were willing to risk their very lives for the hope that they had witnessed. Hope is why we gather to worship the resurrected God.
(From Pastor Randy's Easter Sunday Message) 

From Pamela: I have experienced tiny hopes that flutter with timid understanding of what might be possible.  I have also felt hopes emerging from probability that nothing, most likely, will get in the way of an expansive and joyful future.  
Yet the fulfillment of the hope is what leads me toward the unknown with confidence.  In the situations where hopes were shattered, I may be timid to set out on the same or similar path again.  But hopes fulfilled provide the inspiration and motivation to keep stepping on a path even if its way is obscured by the unknown.  
We can follow Jesus with hope.  Even when we find ourselves walking steps through suffering our major challenges, as long as we are following Jesus we can keep moving -- the fulfilled promises of the resurrection -- Death does not win! --  activate hope even in the midst of the unknowable mysteries we face.  

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