God of Hope
3 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
There is an excitement in the air as we are now turning to Spring, and there is a fresh smell in the air of Spring flowers, along with blue skies and sunshine. Many people are starting to get the vaccine, myself included, leading to the hope that we’ll soon be able to get back together in our churches, community and family gatherings. As much as we hope for these events to occur, there is always the world around us that seeks to offer us cheap imitations, that have no staying power.
This is how Brueggemann describes our current world. “The world of despair believes that there are no new gifts, no fresh generosity, no possibility of newness or forgiveness, and so life becomes a zero-sum game to see who can stay the longest on top of the heap, all the while knowing that there will be no good outcome to the futile rat race.” But in this Lenten season, we look to a hope that is more profound, rich and reliable. That hope is “God’s reliable fidelity, a God who makes and keeps his promises.”
Because of Jesus we have a hope of good news. Good news that looks to help the poor and despised. A hope that looks beyond the wars and road rage of our world to an alternative that is embodied in Jesus.
In this Easter season we can start again, “grounded in divine forgiveness and sustained by generosity.”
One scholar notes, “Crucified is a perfect participle: not only was Christ once crucified, but he continues in the character of the crucified one. The crucifixion is permanent in its efficacy.”
From beginning to end the blood of the cross still cleanses from all sin. When we put our faith in the one who died for us.
Because of the cross there is a welcome invitation offered to us all. Against the backdrop of barbed wire fences, gates and guards that try to block your way, Jesus offers access to a world of welcome that was paid for with his broken body and shed blood, that makes entrance for everyone possible.
As we draw closer to Easter let us not be deterred by a world of roadblocks but open our hearts to the hope filled life that is filled with the fragrance of His love, as the “Son” that shines down upon us.
“God of all hope, we know all too well a world of betrayal, despair, exclusion, and conflict. May we live into your alternative world of truth, hope, welcome and harmony as we trust and follow you. Amen.” Brueggemann
Morris, Leon. 1 Corinthians: Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Volume 7. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 1985.
Brueggemann, Walter. A Way Other Than Our Own: Devotions for Lent. Kentucky: Westminster John Know Press, 2017.