More than ever before, hope for the future is under attack. Hope makes a nice campaign slogan, but when things continue to crash, it becomes all the more difficult to have hope. Hope in the American dream? My house is worth 40 percent of what we owe on it. Not much hope there. Jobs are next to impossible to find in the valley. Hope? Right!
Yet, I am here to tell you that I have more hope than ever. No, I am not in some delusional state where I am drinking special Kool-Aid. More than ever before, I know that my hope must not be placed in the ever-changing mess that is this world. Let me try to explain this.
The most hopeless day in history was the day Jesus was crucified. His followers, including his mother and brothers, the 11 remaining disciples and others, had seen Jesus do more miracles than they could remember and record (John 20:30-31 & 21:25). They had a firm belief that Jesus was the Messiah, the Anointed One of God. Now, he was hanging on a cross like the worst of all criminals, beaten beyond recognition. Then he died! All hope was gone for this group.
News flash: Three days later, Jesus bodily rose from the dead. That is the central message of Christianity and the hardest part to believe. Jesus, the very Son of God, died for our sin (John 3:16-17) and then, by his own power, was raised bodily from the dead (John 10:17-18). This hope became so strong that this once scared, scattered group started to spread the message about Jesus that would change the world.
There are days when I don’t watch much news. It is filled with so much violence, bad news and people just being mean to each other. But every day, I spend some time praying and centering my thoughts on the only true hope this world has, the resurrected Jesus. He overcame death and promises all who put their faith in him that they can do the same. The empty tomb is proof, as are the very lives of those who witnessed his life, death and resurrection (John 20:26-31).
Want to know more? Look me up, neighbor. I would be more than happy to tell you about my hope.
•The Rev. Ken Hasekamp is minister of Patterson Christian Fellowship. Sermon Notes is a column by ministers of the Patterson Ministerial Association.