Hope Is Here

Matt. 24  32 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

As I write this, it’s our second consecutive 70+ degree day. There was plenty of sunshine until about an hour ago, but it is still very nice outside. After a 100 year snowstorm only a couple of weeks ago, the earth is showing signs of waking up. Jennifer mentioned to me last night that it seems like we’re a month behind, but let’s not let lose our gratitude for this gorgeous weather.

The change from winter into spring, and then from spring into summer, has served as a symbol of hope both inside and outside Christianity. Those outside Christianity would do well to notice the cycles of the seasons and how well they intersect with the Bible’s “dying and rising” Law and Gospel message. Every year the earth dies its little death. Every year the earth rises to new life. Death and life, dying and rising, these are the most basic themes of the Law and Gospel message recorded for us in God’s Word.

For the Christian, this dying and rising is not limited to the seasonal cycle. It’s a daily reality. The daily meaning of our Baptisms is that we daily drown our sinful natures and a new man emerges and arises to live before God in righteousness and purity forever. This daily gift of God is our greatest asset. God’s will is to put our sinful natures to death and that a new person, freed from the guilt, regret, and death of sin, would get a chance to live a new life TODAY. God does not want us burdened by sins He has forgiven. He gifts us with new life, a good conscience, and the freedom to pursue the good works He has ordained beforehand for us to do (Eph. 2:8-10).

The world that does not know this wonderful news is consigned to death. By choosing not to hear the Word, the unbelieving world chooses its own fate. This is sad. Don’t you think?

We have the #thebettermessage. The only thing that holds us back is our own fears and doubts from not fully hearing this great message as well. We have hope, a hope for today, a hope for eternity. It’s already ours! Look anywhere else and will you find such a great hope? Peter writes that all Christians are to be “always prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). Christ is our hope and the world needs that hope. That is painfully obvious.

And Christ will return! As we look for that return, we let the beautiful and hopeful return of summer remind us, just like the fig tree in Jesus’ words above, that Christ is returning. He is at the very gates. This is not bad news. This is great Good News! Lord, come again soon! Deliver us to a new heavens and new earth!

Praying you are enjoying this first shot of warmth! God use it to bolster your hope in Him who is returning soon!

Peace in Christ,

Pastor T.

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