I simply cannot believe Palm Sunday is this weekend.
Our church is preparing for Easter services with the theme of HOPE. The graphic is beautiful with the O depicted as the Crown of Thorns.
It catches my eye when I see it in various forms around town and in the bulletin and materials each Sunday.
I have been thinking a lot about the word and what it means and what it feels like to be without HOPE.
Hope is one of those tricky words.
It can only be offered to those lacking something that matters much; those who are without the desired outcome of some situation or circumstance or dream.
We don’t hope for what we already have.
We hope for what we long for.
Sometimes the thing we are hoping for has become so extremely far out of reach that we become Hope-less.
Not a pretty place to be.
As I have pondered these things and meditated on my own capacity to lose hope from time to time, I have also been listening to a song written by Melissa and Jonathan David Helser and Ed Cash called “You Came (Lazarus)” from the CD BEAUTIFUL SURRENDER.
Based on the story of Christ calling Lazarus to life out the grave, the line that catches me is this:
“You came, I knew that You would come and You came”
I have to say the music that accompanies these lines adds so much to it.
The notes that deliver these words are filled with a building excitement and joy expressed through the rapid increase in tempo in just the right way and in just the right time.
It doesn’t hurt that it is delivered by the strong hands of a drummer…because of all instruments, it is the drum that speaks my heart language.
The song reminds me to rouse my doubting and troubled heart out of Hope-Less and make the journey to Hope-Deferred.
There is a difference.
Hope-Less has given up.
Hope-Deferred is weary but believes for something that will happen against all odds.
I can find myself on the verge of lost hope rather easily.
Not proud of it, just being honest.
God has somehow blessed me with a circle of hope-filled friends and family, which is great if being hopeful was contagious or could be pinned on the wings of these saints I love so much.
But HOPE can’t be borrowed or manufactured or transferred from another human.
It’s root is not a feeling that can be aroused.
Hope comes like a crocus out of the cold and hard and seemingly dead winter ground.
It springs forth unexpectedly from a seed that was planted long before on a warmer, brighter day.
Hope comes from something tangible and eternal that was planted in the darkest, hardest, deadest places and yet makes its way to the light.
It is breathed from Spirit to spirit.
From the breath of the Holy Spirit into the collapsed lungs of a frail and weary soul; it revives the seed of Christ that was planted there when He was welcomed into the heart.
I listen to the strains of this song and something fans some hidden embers deep down inside me.
I find myself stirring out of the bleak desert of hope-lacking as I force myself back into the waiting of hope-full.
I know Jesus.
I know He has planted Himself deep in my heart.
I know He will come and I know He will do what only He can do.
And when He does….I don’t want to be standing there with my head hanging down in sorrow that I didn’t believe He would.
I want to be able to say with JOY….
echoing the words of Lazarus…
You Came!!! I KNEW that You would come and You came.
The whole point of Easter is that we are never ever ever without HOPE…if you have grown tired and weary I pray for Him to blow fresh wind into your lungs.
I pray You hear Him calling your name.
I pray you feel the warmth of the Son on those seeds in your own heart.
And then I will scoot over and welcome you to a seat alongside me as we wait….
for Him to do the impossible <3