Thursday, December 2, 2010

A reflection on hope and promise (Pastor's Notes)

For the 5th December 2010 bulletin

A reflection on hope and promise

The recent Pike River Mine tragedy is indeed a national tragedy and I will be joining the nationwide observation of two minutes of silence at 2 PM today (Thursday 2 December).

When news of the first blast reached the nation’s ears, there was hope of rescuing the trapped miners alive. That in time faded away to slim hope, replaced by reluctant resignation of no hope. The focus then shifted to promises and hope of recovering the bodies. But soon due to more explosions and fire, it became “hope of recovering the bodies are fast fading”. Now today, we have to have the memorial service without the bodies of the miners. But at the same time we are told to be hopeful that the bodies will be recovered, and that the mines reopened one day.
The commitment level of commitment of the authorities, rescuers and the Greymouth community has not wavered and is to be commended. But there has been an obvious backlash of deep emotional pain and grief each time hope is given and slips away. Our hearts go out to the loved ones of these miners as they have to endure a horrible emotional roller coaster ride of ups and downs. The sad reality is that as human beings, we can only do our best in difficult situations and because we are not in control of external circumstances, there are no guarantees.
But as I reflect on “hope and promise” I find the NT lectionary from Romans 14:4-13 reading so helpful. It reminds us that there is one hope that will not disappoint - Jesus! Because the hope promised by God is different. It is a certainty, a confident expectation because it is rooted in an all-powerful, consistent, all loving God. Scripture is given to us that we may have hope, to endure and be encouraged (v.4). Jesus came so that all people and nations may have hope through Him (v.8-12).
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (v.13).

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