We attended sunrise services for the first time today. Sitting on the wooden bench at the top of the mountain trail, I was struck by the beauty of this space and of this company long before the sun crested the hill. Against the backdrop of the pale blue sky, the outline of the cross was lit by the bonfire in this outdoor sanctuary.
The sermon started in much the same way most church services do: a greeting in prayer and voices lifted in worship. Then the pastor began his message of hope and it reached my ears, my heart, and my soul, warming me long after I had lost feeling in my toes. And bringing me to the blank page this morning to explore the message in His word.
I have hope. Hope that I can inspire others with my passion for teaching and learning. Hope that Cam’s heel will finally heal and she will be back to running and jumping and climbing again. Hope that she will grow to be the kind of amazing adult I see kindling in her already. Hope that Micah’s tumor won’t return – not ever – and that I will never give him a reason to give up. Hope that family and friends will find days of happiness far outweigh the ones of sorrow. That feasts outweigh the famine.
With the power of God on the side of the mountain this morning, I rise above. I rise above the worry that all my earthy hopes are tied to. Rise above work, health, and happiness. These matter little compared to the hope that looks toward our salvation.
Hope that we will not approach the tomb with spices to anoint His death. There is a reason the cross stands empty. Even more reason that the tomb is so.
Hope that even as He walks beside us, we will not doubt that He is our Savior, as did the two men who broke stride with him on the path back to Jerusalem. They said, “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). Let us instead say I have hoped. I am hoping. I will hope.
Let us not fall to doubt in His power, His grace, or His glory, as did the man who once broke bread with him. Thomas said, “Unless I see…I will not believe” (John 20:25). Let us instead be among the blessed, “those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). I have believed. I am believing. I will believe.
Truth on the mountain. Truth in the rising Son. Let us all have hope. Let us all rise above.