Posted by: Diane | April 2, 2013

Have Hope “All Over The Place”

Chris and I took our eight year old grandson to an outdoor Easter Sunday sunrise service. When we arrived at the church, there was a little fire going in the parking lot and a wooden cross set up with different words nailed to it. Phoenix planted himself on a rock and listened intently as the pastor talked about the risen Christ. People walked up to the cross, talked about their struggles, tore down words like despair, addictions, anger, hopelessness and lies and then threw the words into the fire. Other people walked up to the cross, talked about victories, took down words like joy, purpose, hope, forgiveness and faith and held onto them. I was compelled to reach over to the cross and remove the word hope. I said the following words to the group:

As I watch the sun rise, it reminds me of Christ’s resurrection and the incredible hope that we have in Him. I need to hold unswervingly to the hope I profess, for He who promised is faithful. 

Eight year old Phoenix quietly took it all in.

When Chris, Phoenie and I returned home, Phoenie noticed a little figurine on our kitchen shelf.

Hope figurine

He looked at me and asked, “Nana, why do you have hope all over the place?”

I like that question because hope is what keeps us buoyant, isn’t it?  People frantically surround themselves with things, people and activities but only Hope in the resurrected One abundantly gifts us with perspective, purpose and soul-soothing peace.

Hope is here for us now…today….this present moment.

He is “all over the place.”

As Christians emerge from worship services around the world having looked back on the historical significance of the resurrection, and now looking forward to the promise of life after death for an eternal future, I wonder if there is a tendency to miss the significance of Easter present. Does anyone wonder what difference the resurrection of Jesus makes in lives here and now? For if the resurrection is only about life after death—going to heaven when we die—or if Christians are only celebrating something that happened long ago, there is the failure to do the necessary and creative work of what resurrection means for lives today. In addition, if the only significance of Easter is a spiritual metaphor for new life and re-birth, this message is just as easily told through colored eggs and rabbits.  Margaret Manning

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