We live in a troubled world. Despite many positive advances, the future security of our planet is no longer a sure thing. We know all the terms: terrorism, climate change, hatred, racism, democratic decline, war. There is reason to worry.
But it is Easter Sunday morning – an historical occasion meant to remind us that hope is essential if we are to survive. We’re not talking about the kind of hope here that is naïve or fabricated, but rather that state of mind in which we don’t so much look for success but for a willingness to engage in making life better regardless of the outcome.
Life is hard, and the longer we live the more likely we have the scars that provide evidence of our personal failures, loss, being hurt, or losing our way. When young, most of us emerged from our cave of ignorance ready to face our future and make our mark for the next generation. Then, along with the successes, came the hurts, the pain, the sadness, perhaps cynicism and, for many the loss of hope.
We overlook the people we touched, the neighbourhood we improved, the workplace that we made more human, and the faith we gave others that they mattered. We did all of those things not looking for success but to touch, to heal, to provide comfort, and, yes, to give hope. But in our living has come pain and the inevitable sliding backward into the cave for the sake of our security, for our protection. It is a natural human reaction that must be respected.
But it is human and can be worked through. Despite our disappointments there is still that path ahead that reminds us to orient our heart towards goodness, towards stretching our spirits to better our world. In any situation, we can be that radical agent that can remind others that they are noticed, that they are loved, and that they are worth any effort we might give them to assist. We all know it is important that we try, but also that time has worn us down.
This isn’t about just stubbornly getting up and willingly getting back in the game of helping humanity. It is rather following the light and warmth of those things that have forever given our lives meaning and value, even during the tough times. It’s not merely about our willingness to act but to accept that light of illumination again that make life worth living in the first place. And in moving towards that light, that better angel of our nature, we will find company – fellow sojourners also attempting to reconnect, replenish, and redeem those aspects of human nature worth developing and refining.
The hope we are talking about here, and which Easter implies, isn’t about successful efforts but about opening ourselves up once more to hope’s invitation to still matter, to still throw our weight on the side of light and right. It is our way of proclaiming that we would still rather live in a world filled with complexity and challenge than in one which no longer calls us to give. This is what hope is – the reminder that we can always live beyond what we think we’re incapable of. We are the people of hope, and on this Easter Sunday we affirm that living life to the full is yet worth it – for ourselves, for our community, for our world. It’s time to rise and get about the businesses of healing our world and ourselves in the process.
Happy Easter everyone.