Saturday, April 11, 2009

when all hope is gone

That first Holy Saturday as Jesus' body lay in Joseph of Arimathea's tomb, hopes seemed dashed. The disciples were either hidden (except for the women disciples), out of fear, or else they were pondering with sadness over their disappointment.

At times we experience this waxing and waning of hope, how it comes and goes. Of course for us in Jesus our hope is called living, alive through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. But at times, it seems like all hope is gone. Even Jesus himself seems to have experienced that hanging on the cross, as he expressed the anguish of being seemingly forsaken by God.

I marvel again and again just how God keeps giving us hope, after we experience periods when all hope seems to be gone. Yes, we know by faith that certain things are true, but unless we enter into the experience of that, beginning in this life, it's really of little or no value to us. I think of the word, "Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the one who takes refuge in him!" It's not enough for us to simply say the Lord is good; we need to enter into that reality and experience by faith for ourselves.

This hope goes on no matter what. It's living, and destined to complete fulfillment in Jesus. But on that first Holy Saturday Jesus' disciples seemed at a loss. They hadn't yet cast their faith aside from what we can tell. I would guess that it was dormant. They continued to gather together, even if in hiding, and mercifully, the time between Jesus' death and resurrection along with his appearances to the disciples, was short.

I am thankful for this living hope which continues on to this day. We also experience our times of doubt and struggle. But before too long God makes himself known to us through Jesus by the Spirit, and often together. And all of this is not just for ourselves, but for our mission in this world of witness to Jesus through words and deeds.

What does this look like in your life, or how might you describe it? Or whatever you would like to add here.

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