I enjoy the time I spend in worship on Sundays. I feel a real connection to the Divine when I open myself up. This past Sunday, we started worship with a song that truly touched me in hard to explain ways. It has stayed with me since that time. I keep repeating the words in my mind, over and over. I googled the song and have played it a number of times, and I keep going back to it.

The song we sang was “Living Hope.” The words are rich in meaning and truly have brought me into the presence of God. I can’t explain it. Its as if the song is telling MY story, my experience, my feelings.

The first stanza says,
“How great the chasm that lay between us
How high the mountain I could not climb
In desperation, I turned to heaven
And spoke your name into the night
Then through the darkness
Your loving kindness
Tore through the shadows of my soul
The work is finished, the end is written
Jesus Christ, my living hope”

It brought me back to those times when I have felt so alone, so in need of God’s presence in my life. When I have acknowledged that, God has been there in a way that gave me just what I needed at the exact moment I needed it. It is truly amazing in the way we can approach God, and God immediately comes to us. When the songwriter says, “through the darkness your loving kindness tore through the shadows of my soul,” I resonated with those words. I felt loved, accepted, cared for, and filled with a joyful release. The tears streamed down my face with utter gratitude.

I keep repeating the stanza over and over,
“Hallelujah, praise the one who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope”

Jesus Christ, my living hope. I don’t necessarily place all my hope in others who claim the name Christian, but I do place my hope in Jesus. When my world is hard, when I face difficulties and situations I would rather run from, I remind myself that Jesus IS my living hope. Each and every circumstance I find myself in, my hope for the outcome is always based on who and what I know of Jesus. Jesus is the one who stands with me. Jesus is the one who sees me through every situation. Jesus is the one who assures me I am not alone.

I don’t know what situations you may be facing this week. I cannot fathom the difficulties that you will come up against. I’m not aware of your hurts, your pain, your fears. But I know the One who can walk with you through all of that. We are reminded of all God did in Jesus to give us a victorious life, one filled with unspeakable joy and peace.
“Who could imagine so great a mercy?
What heart could fathom such boundless grace?
The God of ages stepped down from glory
To wear my sin and bear my shame
The cross has spoken, I am forgiven
The king of kings calls me His own
Beautiful savior, I’m yours forever
Jesus Christ, my living hope”

I pray your week will be one filled with a connection to the Divine as mine has been. I have no extra powers, or a closer connection to God than you. Open yourself up to the reality of a God who loves you more than anything, and is there for you. I promise you, you will feel that connection to the Divine. You will find yourself imbued with a joy that seems to come out of nowhere, and yet we know it comes straight from our Living Hope.

Your fellow traveler on the Way,
Pastor Tom

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