Holding On to Hope

Always an Easter sunrise, to remind us once again

That light will triumph over darkness… now, the same as then.”

For years I kept this Easter greeting card taped to my desk.

The picture was beautiful, of course, but the words even more so. So much of our world seems to deal in things that make for death and despair – what writers metaphorically call “darkness” – that we need the promise of life and goodness to give us hope.

Often these days I read that our current era lives with a crisis of hope. Whether we’re talking about increasing incivility in our divided nation, economic uncertainty, the war in the Ukraine, poverty and racism, or the possibility of environmental catastrophe, more and more people have less and less hope that we can solve these problems and create a better future.

And without hope, how do we motivate ourselves to go on? Where do we find the strength to keep working for a better future – God’s future?

Writing some ten years after Christ’s life, the apostle Paul said:

Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We shall not all die, but we shall be changed… for this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. Then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: “Death has been swallowed up in victory… Where O death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting? Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 15:51-57, New Revised Standard Version, Oxford University Press)

The resurrection of Christ is the source of our hope because it is the guarantee that the death-dealing forces of this world do NOT have the final say – God does. 

The final triumph is still in front of us. The risen Christ is always in front of us – out of sight, but not out of reach. His life, death and resurrection are the down payment on the ultimate victory – and in that conviction we find strength to live in this present moment, to work for God’s purposes and not lose hope. 

May your Eastertide be filled with signs of God’s life and power.