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Alleluia! Christ is risen! 

This month we find ourselves in the season of Easter, celebrating the resurrection with our Easter theme, “Surprised by Hope.” In his book by the same name, scholar N.T. Wright writes, 

“Hope is about what lies ahead and is promised by a God who loves to bring hope to each one of us. It is also about the kingdom of God breaking into our present-day realities and hope spilling out into the world today. These two ideas and realities are bound together and can’t be separated…” 

The empty tomb, then, is both a promise for our future and our present. In the resurrection, we can be confident that life doesn’t end after this earthly existence, but continues on in a mysterious, beautiful, eternal perfection with God. But this “kingdom of heaven” isn’t just something to look forward to – it’s part of us right here and now. The hope (that is, confident trust) that there is eternal goodness ahead allows us to live as people of that same kind of hope in our day-to-day lives. All darkness – all that is frightening, hurtful, wearying – is temporary. Goodness and Light is always on the horizon, if not also in our present, which means we can walk with a different kind of confidence in this world because of the Christ. We can live as people filled with hope and “spill that hope out into the world,” as Wright puts it. As resurrection-people, we are hope-bearers of the world, holding up the Christ’s promise that the presence of God’s kingdom – God’s peace, love, joy, and grace – is present on earth right now, in us! To so many people who need to hear this promise, hope comes as quite a surprise! 

As we celebrate the resurrection together this season, I invite you to consider – how do you “spill” the hope of Christ out to those around you? How do you show every day that you live with confidence that God’s love really affects your daily life? And, as we continue our work of living into a new call at TCPC, how do we live as a church in a way that reflects our confident hope that Christ is in our transformation, now and for our future together? 

 We have a resurrection-God! A God of life and new-life, creation and re-creation, hope eternal and immediate. The Hope of the World is risen, indeed! 

Peace in the Grace of Christ,

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