Where Is Your Hope?
(By Vivien Sargeant)
Read Ephesians 1:15-19
At the beginning of the year we booked and planned our trip back to New Zealand, being away from England for 5 weeks. We left all our commitments in “other” very capable hands; fully intending to pick up and carry on when we returned. Never in a million years, as the saying goes, did we expect or want anything different.
On the 15th March, when we began our journey home the coronavirus had begun to weave its destruction amongst us. The borders in New Zealand closed a few days after we left; had we been detained at any point we might still be there today. But we are not; we are here, in our home with our friends and family around us, using technology, letters and phones to communicate. Plans that we had for the rest of the year, along with everyone else, have either been cancelled or put on hold, although one grandchild, who is coming up for 12, is desperately hoping camping on the Norfolk coast in August will happen, as it has every year since she was 2.
So, with the security and hope of so many things destroyed and in far too many cases the loss of a loved one, we have all made adjustments. Finding new interests or developing existing ones to fill our time, clapping with neighbours on a Thursday, whilst still yearning for so many things that we all used to do and enjoy.
During the Baptist Union Wednesday Prayer Broadcast a few weeks ago, a reference was made to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, chapter 1 verses 15 to 19. He writes to the early church, encouraging and reassuring them of his thankfulness and prayers for each one of them as they struggle with isolation, persecution and poverty. I am certain the same questions beginning with Why, Who, What, When and How were asked then as they are today. Just as prayers were needed for those early Christians, so our prayers for each other, our fellowship and ourselves are needed now…
So what is that prayer?
- That our hearts might be opened to the hope God has called us to and the riches of His glorious inheritance.
- That we may know God’s power in our lives as we faithfully serve Him.
As we adapt, struggle, despair, grieve for all that we have lost or cannot experience during this time, whether that is physically, mentally or spiritually, I know that we can always, always rely on our God who made all things, knows all things and forgives all things. A God whose love never changes, a peace that never disappears and a hope that is for eternity. May your hearts always be open to what God has to say to us. May we know of the hope and power He has to offer each one of us.
God bless you all.