Monday, April 9, 2007

Easter: a Season Full of Hope

From Sarah - Easter: a Season Full of Hope

I’ve always been a bit of a “glass half empty” kind of girl. I’m not sure how that started in life – whether it was pragmatic or proven somewhere along the way - but optimism has always been a bit of a struggle for me. Not surprising, many of God’s lessons for me this Lent were directed at strengthening the virtue of hope.

Tonight as I re-read the gospel, I was struck by two things. There were two big assumptions made in John’s gospel.

Arriving at the tomb and seeing the stone rolled away, Mary Magdalene assumes that someone has “taken the Lord”. This is a rather logical assumption. He was dead. He is not there. Someone must have taken him. Logical, but incorrect!

Arriving at the tomb the beloved disciple makes a different assumption. He sees the linen wrappings lying there and the gospel tells us “he saw and believed”.

“Believed what?” I thought to myself tonight. Why didn’t he go investigating, looking for clues, trying to track where they took Jesus?

Oh.

He made a radically different assumption. He assumed what no one had yet imagined – Jesus Christ has risen from the dead! The beloved disciple made a very illogical assumption. Yet it was true!

Oftentimes when I pray I find all the “logical” assumptions running through the back of my mind. This person hasn’t changed for years, why bother praying for their conversion? This couple hasn’t conceived in years, why bother praying for a miracle? This friend has been sick for years, why bother praying for remission? This hurt hasn’t been healed in years, why bother praying for wholeness? This dream has yet to come to fruition, why bother praying for future realization?

The problem with this “logic” of mine is that it excludes the power of God. The beloved disciple knew the power of God and that is what he was focusing on when he made his (seemingly illogical) assumption at the tomb.

Hope challenges us to focus, not just on what we can see or on what seems logical to us, but on the power of God.

May we all trust unreservedly in the power of God this Easter season – to heal our hurts, to conquer our sins, to answer prayers, to perform miracles, and to fill us with his new life. Glory! Alleluia! He is risen!

That is about as full as my glass can get.