The message of Easter is one of hope
and not just hope in some distant utopia or fulfilment in an after- life.
It is the conviction that our world and my life
has meaning and is guided
and not simply at the mercy of chance
or the invisible hand of crude economics.
Hope leavens the life of a believer – and permeates every aspect
of our life as planetary, cosmic creatures.
It acts as an antidote to desperation and helps us to keep our feet moving forward facing the future with courage.
We are not talking about optimism.
Optimism is about the future- how we would
like things to turn out – how we would like to win the lotto.
It is a desire for things to be different.
Hope is about now, this present moment -it is the conviction
that there is meaning now despite what it might look like – that
something is worth doing however it turns out.
It allows us to give up trying to control everything in our lives
which can so inhibit our vision of a larger possibility and
it means we don’t have to exhaust ourselves trying to mint significance
every moment of every day.
Hope is the most essential quality for our future as a species
because without hope none of us would
even believe in the possibility of a different world,
let alone work towards it…
St Paul in his letter to the Ephesians says, “My death defying ‘no’ to despair and my life affirming ‘yes’ to seemingly insurmountable problems in the midst of my life are both animated by hope in the invincible might of the risen Jesus and in the immeasurable scope of his power in us who believe”. (Eph 1:19)
A friend once said to me, “of all my possessions be that material, spiritual or relational, the only one I pray I never lose is hope”.