Sometimes the Holy Spirit comes to us in surprising ways.
After enjoying my turkey hoagie at Wawa, a popular convenience store chain on the East Coast, I drove over to the gas pumps. On the screen popped the message: “Our routines may have changed, but WaWa is here to stay.” I laughed out loud and prayed, “Our routines have changed, but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Thank you, Lord, for living in me by your Spirit.”
We’ve been through a lot. It has been a year since Covid-19 lockdowns began and our lives and routines were turned upside down. Nearly 500,000 people have lost their lives to the virus. Violence and division continue to invade our country. I can’t imagine going through the disruptions of a pandemic, the angst within our country, and all that the past 12 months have brought us without a personal relationship with Jesus. As we approach the celebration of Easter under the confines of Covid, I am reminded of our second Covenant affirmation: “The necessity of new birth.”
The Apostle Peter explains this new birth and encourages the beleaguered Christians of his day by writing: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3, NIV).
Saturated—the word means soaked, drenched, unable to hold any more hope because we are entirely filled with it.
The living hope we are born into through the resurrection is not just hope for the horizon but hope for this present hour. At our best, the Covenant is a life movement. We walk with Jesus, regardless of our situation or the trials we face. The resurrected Christ is the object of our hope, the “Alpha and Omega…who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).
A living hope is a resilient hope. This kind of hope is “made wise by experience and is undaunted by disappointment,” writes Gil Rendel in Quietly Courageous.
Sometimes life becomes so painfully uncertain and anxiously unpredictable that the only way to get through the day is to remember our “new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” It is core to our flourishing as Christians.
In 1984, one of our Covenant Publications, Glad Hearts, included the writing of Bryce E. Nelson and Dwight A. Nelson who said, “Life deals some harsh realities. Christian hope must be preached, taught, and lived by the people of God. The message of hope must saturate our working and our sense of calling.”
Saturated—the word means soaked, drenched. It means we are unable to hold any more hope because we are entirely filled with it.
As a mosaic of mission friends, may we experience the living hope afresh and anew this Easter. Let us join together in focusing on Jesus, the resurrection, and the mission of sharing this living hope with others. Because we could all use some good news.