As we enter Jerusalem with Jesus on the first day of April, Palm Sunday, we are aware that Jesus’ triumphant entrance is soon to be exchanged for a cross.
The Journey to Hope needs these holy days this week to work God’s way within us. If we, as God’s people, are to truly ingest and invest God’s gift of grace in Jesus – the Christ – we must walk with Jesus this week. Our community has observed Lent with personal journey disciplines that have included weekly study groups and bible study, food fellowship, denials of the flesh and the inclusion of a person with/for whom to pray along the way. Now is not the time to breathe a sigh of relief that you’ve “made it” – it is the time to firmly plant your feet on the road through the Kidron Valley with Jesus as he travels in and about Jerusalem this week; as he goes once again to the Gethsemane garden to pray, as he climbs the steps to the Upper Room to break bread, as he is shoved before Pilate’s throne and as he carries the cross that will bear his weight and our sin to Golgotha.
The Journey to Hope is long and difficult.
For those who have experienced hope – give thanks to God for it as you acknowledge the way there can be hard. Continue on, share your story.
For those who are searching for hope – don’t give up, journey onward and know that you are not alone.
Spring brings us many signs of hope in God’s creation – new life from the earth, warmer temperatures, more hours of sunlight and a renewed vigor in our bones for the tasks of the day. Spring also brings us to the end of Jesus’ earthly journey encapsulated in our liturgical calendar between the celebrations of Christmas and Easter. Many God lovin’ people bring themselves to community – to church – only twice each year – Christmas and Easter; for these, the Journey to Hope can seem pointless ( “Life is hard, God doesn’t love me.”) or presumed (“Life is what I make it, God’s just there watchin’.”) How can we, the community of faith called to be Bay View UMC share our intentional Journey to Hope with those who think and feel like this about their relationship with God?
Friends, I give thanks for the way we journey together – every day – and as we welcome one another and those who step in just for the day let us say, with the confidence that hope assures, “He Is Risen!” “He Is Risen, indeed!”. Alleluia!