“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.”Hebrews 6:19
Easter is my favorite church season of the year. It is a season brimming with hope, as nature attires herself with her annual foliage of green and the flowers appear and accent the green landscape with their beautiful colors. This physical renewal of nature symbolizes the spiritual renewal of grace which takes place within our lives and the promise of resurrection.
The past couple of months have been difficult ones. We have had to practice physical distancing and while this may be protecting us from the threat of coronavirus it is taking a toll on us psychologically, socially and spiritually. We are social creatures and do not do well in isolation. We all yearn and hope to come together again as community. We all look forward to a time when we may get on the other side of this pandemic. As difficult as is this challenging time, we mustn’t lose hope. Hope is the anchor of the soul. Hope is a basic necessity of life. It enables us to see through our present difficulties to a new and brighter future. It strengthens us to patiently endure the trials of the present in anticipation of the rewards of the future. Hope is pro-spective and future oriented. Without hope of a bright future, the present becomes dark and bleak.
In his book, Man’s Search For Meaning, Victor Frankl, psychologist, creator of logotherapy and survivor of Auschwitz, chronicled his experience in a Nazi prison camp. He argued that the “loss of hope and courage can have a deadly effect on man.” Frankl points out time and again that it was hope that kept him alive through the terrible ordeal of prison camp life. He contends that when a person no longer possesses a motive for living, no future to look toward, he curls up in a corner and dies. “Any attempt to restore a man’s inner strength in camp,” he wrote, “had first to succeed in showing him some future goal.”
Fortunately, the message of Easter conveys a powerful message of hope. Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:3, “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…” Christians more than anyone else have reason for hope. If we believe in Christ’s resurrection, then we know that death and evil do not have the final word. The resurrection of Christ gives us the hope to see beyond the cross to new life. It also provides us with spiritual vision to see beyond our own crosses to the certainty of victory and never-ending life with Christ. May God sustain within you a living hope that is nourished and enriched by the resurrection power of Christ.
Great God of hope, you have overcome sin, evil and death through the cross and resurrection of Jesus. Give birth in us the living hope that comes from knowing the resurrection power of your son Jesus and help us to see beyond the present sufferings of this time to the glory of your Son that will be revealed fully in us. Amen.
Questions for Reflection
- What is the greatest challenge presently to your hope?
- What or who is the hope that the author of Hebrews describes as “a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls?”
- An anchor prevents a boat or ship from drifting in stormy waters. What stormy waters are your experiencing in your life now? How can Jesus act as an anchor to tether your soul through these storms?