Another bomb has gone off in the name of religion.
More people have been killed as a proclamation of righteousness.
The world continues to descend into a spiral of hostility and violence.
And we wonder, “When will it end?”
We cry out for peace but see only war.
We yearn for love but see only hate.
We desire understanding but see only confusion.
We are desperate for hope but find only discouragement.
From whence will hope come?
Where is our help?
The Israelites’ ancient “song of ascent” once asked this very same question: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from?”
That question arose in the midst of pain and hardship and disillusionment.
As does ours.
The Israelites answered that question with a statement of faith: “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
But we can answer our question in the same way?
Are we still able to make a statement of faith?
Or are we just too hurt, too scared, and too scarred to believe in you anymore?
Do we – do I – still believe that you are able to help?
To help put an end to violence?
To help put an end to hate?
To help put an end to division?
To help put an end to suffering?
Do we – do I – still believe in you as a source of hope?
Hope that keeps me from giving up?
Hope that keeps me looking for the best in others?
Hope that gives me joy no matter what my circumstances?
Hope that fills me with peace amidst the chaos?
Hope that keeps me walking confidently through this fallen and broken world?
I do believe. I still believe. I will always believe.
And it’s because of Easter.
Easter calls me back to the empty tomb – and I do believe it was empty.
I do believe that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead through your power, Lord.
And because you did that, I know that you love, you care, you rule, and you win.
Through the risen Jesus, you are making all things new.
You have defeated death.
You get the final word.
And your Word proclaims that you will end the violence.
You will end the hate.
You will end the chaos.
You will end pain.
You will redeem suffering.
You will subdue evil.
You will heal diseases.
You will bring peace.
All of your promises, Lord, transcend this earthly life that, for the time being, is allowed to suffer the consequences of sin and rebellion against you.
And so, my hope is not rooted in this world.
It is rooted in you and your redemptive plan.
So, I know that you also grieve at the scenes of devastation and tragedy that play in the media daily.
So, I know that you are as disgusted by what we humans do to each other as I am.
So, I know that you long for the same things for which I anticipate.
And I know that you will make all things right.
Because that is the promise of the resurrection.
That is the promise of Easter.
Come, Lord, come!