What is it like to live in the time in human history when the serpent has been crushed? When the Spirit of God has come to dwell in us, giving us power, love and discipline? When we live in the promise and calling of God’s Kingdom being established through us right now and preparing for its coming fullness? When the grave and death hold no power? When we have direct access at all times to the throne of God? These are just a few of the scriptural promises granted us through the resurrection, promises full of hope.
Hope has been much in need in my neighborhood in this past year, and it has felt distant. Hope when COVID created separation for our neighbors at times when they have most needed connection and support, trapping them and us in loneliness and feelings of helplessness. Hope when unemployment has driven many to survival mode and depression as it stretches on with no certainty of recovery. Hope as we grieved the murder of George Floyd, and far too many more of our black men in our community, with feelings of sadness, despair, anger, helplessness, and an unshakable sense of doom that we are not healing, we are not reconciling, and that these deaths are inevitable, and things will not get better. Hope when I turned onto MLK BLVD on Election Day to see a line of cars a mile long, only to realize my neighbors were not lining up to vote, but rather seeking a food basket from the distribution site near our polling location. It is hard to engage in the choosing of our next leader when food for tomorrow is so uncertain (and remains so no matter who is in office). Hope has been much needed, and it has felt distant.
We are a people of promise, children of a new covenant rooted in the hope of an empty grave and of a God who came to earth, endured our suffering, bore our sins, and now lives and resides in and among us. What is it like to live in that hope? How does it connect to a community that so desperately needs it? It is through the life of Christ and promises of scripture that I celebrate today; a resurrection hope that provides me and my neighbors exactly what we need. Into the loneliness and isolation enters a living Savior who promises to never leave us or forsake us, who loves us as one, who has lived our pain firsthand. Into the poverty and depression comes the love of a Father who sent his only Son and promises to generously provide for all our needs. Into the despair, division, and pain of racial injustice enters the crucified Savior who has broken down the dividing wall to reconcile us into one body, His resurrected body, working in us a healing and forgiveness only He can provide. Into political turmoil and uncertainty enters a resurrected King whose kingdom is not of this world, who has ascended to provide us with citizenship in an everlasting kingdom. Resurrection hope embodies the truth that meets me and my neighbors in our brokenness, our fear, our pain, and our despair, and gives us everything we need. Join me today in celebrating the only hope we have, and the only hope we need, for our neighborhoods, our city and our world. - Zach Massey, Director of Social Enterprise