Hope in a Hopeless World
11 February 2016
Lent is a season of preparation and reflection. It gives us an opportunity to deepen our spiritual lives. God's people must use this quiet period to engage in prayer, fasting an almsgiving. These acts of devotion and piety are not ends in themselves; they provide God's people with opportunity for self-examine and see discovery. Prayer depends on our relationship with our fellow men while prayer living is an important aspect of saying prayers.
The two most important things that Fasting reminds us of are our dependence on God for all thing and our concern for the needs of our fellowmen. Almsgiving with a deep sense of humility always reminds God's people that they are their brother's and sisters' keepers.
Of all the Easter stories, one of the most profound is taken from Luke 24:13-35, It speaks of the journey of the two disciples to the little village of Emma's. The story tell us that the men left their village to follow Jesus the Messiah, full of hope in the future; but now, with his death, their hopes were dashed. They had hoped that Jesus would be the political liberator of Israel. As they walked home, a stranger found them. As they talked he seemed to be ignorant of the recent extraordinary events.
You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn't heard about the terrible things that happened last week, they said.
The stranger (Jesus) responded:
How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’
The stranger then expounded and interpreted the Jewish Scriptures and helped the two men to understand the events to the time. At the end of their journey they invited the stranger to their home. They sat down for a meal and they invited him to bless the meal. They saw the nail prints and they recognized that they had encountered the risen Saviour. Frustration turned into joy. Hopelessness was replaced by hope. The disciples who had left Jerusalem afraid and frustrated returned to the city full of faith and hope.
In a world full of violence and death, it is so easy to lose hope. But the story of Emmaus reminds us of the message of Scripture. The broken body of Jesus brings hope. We cannot run away from life's challenge, but we return to Jerusalem to share with our fellow men the message of hope that our God is alive, alive forever more, and there is hope in the future.
Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
whose trust, ever childlike, no cares could destroy,
be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.
The Choir of Ely Cathedral perform the hymn "Lord of All Hopefulness'" to the tune of an Irish folk melody.