The Word on the Street

Hope Springs Eternal

“Hope springs eternal.” You are, no doubt, familiar with the expression?

When all seems lost… when we’ve hit a brick wall, dead end, nowhere to turn, case closed – still, against all odds, against reason, against fate itself – the human spirit persists in insisting hope is not lost.

It was Alexander Pope’s poem, Essay on Man, that gave expression to this deep-seated human longing – hope springs eternal – and yet in context, his words spoke not so much of hopeful aspirations realized in this life, but rather of hope assured in the life to come.

As for me? I refuse to give up hope for the here-and-now – no matter how discouraging, fruitless and desperate things appear.

Although I do have to confess that my resiliency in such matters is waning. How could it not be? Just when it appears we (i.e., collective humanity), might be making progress, something blows up, often quite literally, and all seems lost. Given the ebb-and-flow of a lifetime of start/stop, on-again/off-again, détente/hostility, functional/dysfunctional, cooperation/gridlock, and one step forward/two steps back, you reach a point when you’re just tired.

Still, there are a few things that renew and regenerate…
• When I sit with the children on the chancel steps on Sunday mornings, I become hopefilled
again;
• Spending time in the garden refreshes;
• Singing hymns of faith repairs the bruised spirit;
• Reading to a grandchild restores resolve.

And then, but of course, there is Jesus. If it weren’t for Jesus and his church I would have lost all hope long ago – right out of the gate. It’s not just his empty tomb that is reassuring, it’s who he was and how he lived. He preached hope-filled messages and then he lived out both the premise and the promise of his teachings before us. With Jesus, what you see is what you get, and what you get is always good.

And so my fellow co-sojourners – do not lose hope. There is soon to be a Resurrection.

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