Hope is an easy concept to talk about, but not always easy to actively practice. As human beings, we hope for many things: health, happiness, and love, to name a few. As Christians, our hopes are even greater: we hope for Jesus’ soon return, to see Him face-to-face, to be reunited with loved ones in heaven.
An oft used phrase is, “our hope is in the Lord,” but what does this really mean? Truly, the Lord gives us hope, but what are we to do with that hope once we have it?
For several years beside my front door, we had two small baskets of shoes. This was our compromise. We had a shoe rack where my wife and I put our shoes, but try as we might we could not get our children to use it. Lucas was nearly five. Emerson, six-going-on-twenty.
They've always taken off their shoes when they come in the house but then where the shoes go after that is anyone’s guess. So we instituted the baskets. Don’t worry about matching. Don’t worry about setting them side-by-side. Just chuck them in the basket. Doesn’t even matter which one…
My daughter, Emerson, was sitting in her car seat in the back row of the van as we drove home from dinner one evening. She was four at the time. Discipline was not her strong suit that day, and as evening came she got more and more out of control. She was angry with me because I had corrected her pretty sternly at dinner.
The Seventh-day Adventist metanarrative anticipates events depicted in symbolic passages of Scripture in which celestial lights go dark, heavenly bodies fall from their places, and the very foundations of the earth are shaken.
Singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman appeared on the David Letterman show, providing a pared down performance of a song that cuts to the very human heart of our eschatological anxieties.
If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountains
Should crumble to the sea
I won't cry, I won't cry
The first Epistle of John begins this way. “We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us—we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
In the 16th chapter of John, the apostle quotes our Lord as follows: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” There is a special blessing in this Dominican saying for every one of the Master’s disciples. It is an offer of peace in him and good cheer. His offer is as surely available today as it was when he first spoke it to those original disciples. The peace and good cheer that he offers is grounded in his victory – over the world.
Silent Sabbath, the day between Jesus' death on Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, is not something that Adventists always observe. But marking the silence of God on Silent Sabbath offers a rich worship experience, one that you are invited to enter today.
This Silent Sabbath service was recorded at the La Sierra University Church on Easter Weekend, 2014.
"The lights are off for us today, and we are safe, because God is doing God's work," says Pastor Chris Oberg.