Return to the stronghold,
You prisoners of hope.
Even today I declare
That I will restore double to you. Zechariah 9:12
It has been a week . . .
Death of friends and loved ones in our congregation seem to have loomed large in our grief . . .
The Supreme Court was wishy-washy about non-discrimination . . .
A gay man was killed in Soulard, our church's neighborhood . . .
The big island of Hawaii continues to be ravaged by an erupting volcano . . .
A fashion icon hung herself in her apartment . . .
I suppose this list could go on for a while and no doubt, you could add your own particular things to it. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to dive full on into the rivers of all that is wrong, sad, unjust, frustrating and tragic? We are surrounded by reasons to engage these things until the lens through which we view the world become cloudy, gloomy and filled with despair.
And then . . . as people of faith, we are reminded that we are called to be Prisoners of Hope! Yes!
We are called to remember the mystery and power of the One who loves us and walks with us . . .
We are encouraged to know that in every challenge, there is a lesson that brings us closer to our purpose . . .
We are invited to sew love where there is hate, understanding where there is injustice, grace where there is trouble and comfort where there is grief . . .
We are nudged to channel the power and presence of the Spirit who sustains and teaches us . . .
We are moved to be grateful for every blessing in every moment . . .
To be Prisoners of Hope will not take all the challenges and heartache away but it will ensure that there is a little less despair, a little less fear, a little less sadness and a little less cynicism in your own little part of the world. The promise of God is that restoration will return double to us. That my friends, can change the world. Join me this week in being a relentless Prisoner of Hope!