Walking Our Faith: The Resurrection of hope
Walking Our Faith
Tuesday morning started out great. I had rearranged the furniture in my living room the day before, so when I came downstairs Tuesday morning, I felt like I had a fresh perspective. I changed my desk around, which is also my dining room table, so that it faced out the window and gave me a view of the mountain so seemingly near that I often imagine myself walking up its gentle peak.
I got a lot of writing done, and in the afternoon, I took my dogs for a long walk and noticed the earthy smells of wet mud on our dirt roads and green from the trees and the sound of birds and the blue skies for miles.
But something happened that evening. Perhaps it was watching the news for an hour — I’ve tried to limit myself — or maybe it was something I saw on Facebook. I’m not sure what it was, but by the time I got to bed Tuesday night, I felt sad and uneasy about the future.
I went to sleep listening to a recording of the 23rd Psalm, and when that finished, I talked to God in the darkness with the light of the full moon bouncing off the snow and creating a soft glow.
After Jesus died on the cross, his body was removed to a tomb created in a small cave. By then, most of his disciples had run off fearing for their own lives. Only his mother, Mary Magdalene and his beloved disciple John remained. As they buried him, there was great sorrow. But I imagine there was also a sense of hopelessness. With the death of the one they hoped would be the Messiah, came the death of their dreams and the breaking of their hearts.
How bereft they must have felt. Isn’t it similar to what we feel? Like them, we cannot see the future. We have no way to see into the future and know that all will be well.
Of course, we know how their story ended. It was death only for a moment and then glorious Resurrection in the fulfillment of a promise in a way more glorious than any human mind could ever have imagined because it could only have been imagined and accomplished by the mind of God.
One appearance after Christ’s resurrection, to prove that it had happened, would have been enough, if that’s all that God wanted to do.
Instead, because Jesus Christ came as man to live among us and to experience our pain and our love, chose to spend time with us after his resurrection. To console those who mourned his death, to provide indescribable joy and to teach and to provide a path forward. He did all these things before he finally ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father.
And he promised he would not leave us alone but would send a great counselor, the Holy Spirit and eternal presence and evidence of God’s love for us.
Where we are right now in the midst of so much uncertainty can feel as it must have 2,000 years ago for those who stood at the foot of the cross beneath the dying figure of Christ and who then stood outside his grave when the stone was rolled across the entrance.
There are moments when it feels normal to go outside and take a walk in another beautiful Colorado spring afternoon. But then we turn on the news or hear of a friend who has gotten sick or succumbed to the virus, we are reminded of the state of things.
We wonder when it finally passes how many of our beloved restaurants and small businesses will reopen. Because as much as this is a community that relies on tourism, for those of us who live here year-round, it is still a small town where we care about the people who make up our community.
But here’s the thing that occurred to me: As Christ hung on the cross and when he was dead and buried, we were not alone. God was with us then, every moment of those three lonely days. God’s love for us never left us.
We have no idea what the future holds, what our community will look like in a month or two from now. But that uncertainty does not diminish the fact that God is with us and there are many good people in this community who are now and will be acting as the hands and feet of God caring for those in need.
We see it already in the massive expansion of our food bank, in the handmade masks that are sewn and given away, in the purposeful purchases from local small businesses, not because we need a thing, but because we want to help them through this.
The psalm says my strength comes from the Lord. I believe the greatest evidence of God’s enduring strength is his love for us and how that love inspires us to be better. Because with love, all things are possible and all things are made new. This is the resurrection of hope.
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