What is the source of Christian hope?
by Audrey Novak Riley
A few years back, I saw a movie whose hapless young hero tried to reassure an outraged customer by telling her, “We have a saying here: Everything will be all right in the end, so if it is not all right, it is not yet the end.”
I thought that was a clever line when I first heard it, but you know, as time has gone on, I’ve realized it’s actually a pretty deep theological statement about Christian hope.
Think about it. Mary Magdalene followed Jesus for months, even years, helping wherever she could, taking in everything he said and did, supporting his work out of her own pocket, encouraging other women to do the same, living in joyful hope. Can you imagine how thrilling it must have been for her when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on that little donkey while the people cheered and waved palm branches? At that moment, she must have felt that anything was possible!
Then things went horribly wrong. Even so, Mary Magdalene stuck with him. She stood at the foot of the cross with the few others who were loyal enough, bold enough, loving enough, to stay with Jesus through his suffering and painful death. She even stayed to witness his burial. Yes, Mary Magdalene stuck with Jesus to the end, the bitterly disappointing end.
But it wasn’t the end. As we all know, when Mary Magdalene went back to Jesus’ tomb early on that Sunday morning, she discovered to her joy that the story was not over. And that changed everything.
Christ’s glorious resurrection means that everything really will be all right in the end! And that great blessing, thanks be to God, is the source of our Christian hope. Amen.
Audrey Riley is director for stewardship for Women of the ELCA.
Blessings lead to gratitude, and gratitude leads to Thankofferings. Our custom of making generous Thankofferings in gratitude for blessings received goes back for generations among Lutheran women.
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