Hope is on the Horizon
It’s Holy Week and here we are … Wednesday evening already! It seems like this dreary, drab rainy day fits the mood of many people these days.
I wonder if the disciples had a heavy heart throughout the week? My suspicion is that things didn’t hit them until everything began unfolding. Even though, we know that Jesus told them of the events that would take place, I’m just not convinced they heard and understood what he was saying.
Because we already know the story, we move into the week holding the events of the week. But like the disciples, it seems to be the same for us as well, right? Sometimes we have a sense that something isn’t quite right, but most times it hits us as life unfolds…and then we hold the heaviness in our hearts and minds…leaving us with restless nights and long days, wondering, waiting and longing for the darkness to be over.
It’s Wednesday, but Sunday’s coming.
Which brings me back to the heaviness people seem to be holding and carrying these days. Let’s face it, it’s real. We’ve been navigating our way through the days (now year + days) of a global pandemic. We’ve been watching friends and loved ones (often these days from a distance) take their final breath on this earth. We’ve witnessed intentional acts of violence and injustices lashed out against individuals and communities because of who they are and the color of their skin. Cancer. Depression. Addictions. Health concerns and frustrations. Family stuff. Relationship stuff. Earthquakes. Tornadoes. War. Famine. Disease. The list goes on…
I know it seems weary and dark, but Sunday’s coming.
If there is one thing that I have discovered over the past years is that our emotions and feelings are ours, and we can feel however it is that we are feeling. And as many of you might have heard me say before, “It’s ok to go down the rabbit hole, you just can’t stay there” I say this not to imply that anyone has to snap out of it, but to remind folks that we do have some hope, that while things might not seem ok now, they will be. And I know all too well that once we spiral down and stay there, it is all too easy to just stay there, and then the darkness closes in.
You might be in the rabbit hole, but Sunday’s coming!
Jesus was crucified, died and was buried … so we might experience life and hope in an entirely new way. These days probably felt heavy and dark for him, but he knew life and hope were coming…and he didn’t stay there. Maybe Jesus went into the dark recesses of the tomb and rose up out of the grave to bring us with him, leaving that darkness behind giving us hope and a renewed sense of life.
Colossians 1:13 “He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son,”
I suspect if you are still reading then you might be feeling discouraged and overwhelmed by whatever that is weighing heavy on your hearts and minds these days. And quite frankly, I’m not even sure that these ramblings have coherent thread (Holy Week on a Pastor’s mind can do that). However, here’s what I do know … that if things are feeling particularly dark right now, know that you are not alone.
I recently had a conversation with someone in reference to dark days, and as we talked, I said … hope is often times what gets us out of bed in the morning. It’s what keeps us going. So maybe, while we wait for Sunday… we keep looking forward to Sunday, hoping for that moment…waiting watching, looking for and expecting the dawn to come. And in the meantime, we just show up and we do our best.
Maybe today, if you find yourself feeling the same as the weather … or of the events of this week we call Holy…heavy, weary, alone, … know that you are not alone. Thankfully God is big enough and can hold all that we throw God’s way. David cried out to God in the Psalms, Jesus cried out to God on the cross… we too can cry out to God, maybe this Psalm might be your prayer for today.
To the leader: according to The Deer of the Dawn. A Psalm of David.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
and by night, but find no rest.
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our ancestors trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried, and were saved;
in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm, and not human;
scorned by others, and despised by the people.
All who see me mock at me;
they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;
“Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver—
let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”
Yet it was you who took me from the womb;
you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.
On you I was cast from my birth,
and since my mother bore me you have been my God.
Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.
Many bulls encircle me,
strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
they open wide their mouths at me,
like a ravening and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast;
my mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
you lay me in the dust of death.
For dogs are all around me;
a company of evildoers encircles me.
My hands and feet have shriveled;
I can count all my bones.
They stare and gloat over me;
they divide my clothes among themselves,
and for my clothing they cast lots.
But you, O Lord, do not be far away!
O my help, come quickly to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword,
my life from the power of the dog!
Save me from the mouth of the lion!
From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescuedme.
I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him;
stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he did not despise or abhor
the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,
but heard when I cried to him.
From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the Lord.
May your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before him.
For dominion belongs to the Lord,
and he rules over the nations.
To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
and I shall live for him.
Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord,
and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
saying that he has done it.
Beloved child of God, know that you are not alone. Know that you are seen. Heard. Valued and loved. Loved by God and by this Pastor.
Remember… Sunday’s coming…hope is on the horizon.
Peace and hope,