Monday, May 1, 2017

"We Had Hoped..."

This reflection was written for the Devotions From Home series of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania.  It is intended to be a synopsis of the Sunday sermon sent to those who can not make it to church regularly.  Audio of sermons and other material can be found at

Easter 3 - April 30th

“We Had Hoped…,” said the two disciples as they ran out of Jerusalem on the way the Emmaus.  Maybe some of the saddest words in Luke’s gospel, or all of scripture.  It is in the past tenses.  The hope is gone. Lost.  With the events in Jerusalem the days before seemed so dark, all hope had ended.  

In a way, I think we all have been on that road to Emmaus at one time or another.  When “We Had Hoped…” When the cancer came back, the job never materialized, the degree seemed wasted, the friend never got better, the child was never born, the marriage ended.  When “we had hoped…”
And that is right where Jesus met them.  He met the disciples when they were: sad, distraught and angry. And they didn’t even know it.  Until, they all broke bread together.  And their eyes were opened, to see that God in Jesus was right there with them all along.

We break bread as followers of Jesus so that we can see the presence of God in our lives and world.  We break this bread together so that we can have, in the words of the Reverend John Thomas, “Food for the Journey.” Food for the journey of life that can help us see God’s hands at work in our lives and the life of the world.  So that we can know hope.  Hope that we can share with the world.
Last week in a TED Talk Pope Francis said:

“To Christians, the future does have a name, and its name is Hope. Feeling hopeful does not mean to be optimistically na├»ve and ignore the tragedy humanity is facing. Hope is the virtue of a heart that doesn't lock itself into darkness, that doesn't dwell on the past, does not simply get by in the present, but is able to see a tomorrow. Hope is the door that opens onto the future. Hope is a humble, hidden seed of life that, with time, will develop into a large tree. It is like some invisible yeast that allows the whole dough to grow, that brings flavor to all aspects of life. And it can do so much, because a tiny flicker of light that feeds on hope is enough to shatter the shield of darkness. A single individual is enough for hope to exist, and that individual can be you. And then there will be another "you," and another "you," and it turns into an "us." And so, does hope begin when we have an "us?" No. Hope began with one "you." When there is an "us," there begins a revolution. “ 

A revolution a love, kindness and compassion.  Which is what our hurting world needs more than ever right now.