Tuesday, April 14, 2015



These days I am working as an Intentional Interim Pastor for a small, but lovely congregation in Newport PA.  It's located in a region of mountains and rivers that form the terrain of the northern part of central Pennsylvania.  They are not rugged mountains but clearly different n from the rolling hills of southcentral Pennsylvania.  Travel across the area often requires traveling through gaps and along circuitous roads rerouted by large croppings of rocks.  And the streets of my town sometimes require 4-wheel drive to climb on those snowy days when the township has not yet sent their plows to that area.

And this winter it snowed--about every three days--from an inch to inches.  It got cold and remained that way.  The trees were adorned with white blankets almost constantly and the Juniata River was quite often frozen or nearly so.  Schools had to cancel, or at the very least engage in two hour delays until the roads were clear and safe.  We even had to cancel church one day because of the 23 below wind chill.  

We were ready for it to end.  More than ready.

And then just before Easter, 15 days after spring officially began--the warm arrived, the crocuses bloomed, gentle breezes greeted the morning.  We went from heavy jackets to T-shirts.  It was wonderful.

Spring often has that affect on us.  After the bleakness and depression of the dark months, it restores us.  It rewards our hope

Hope is one of the most critically important dimensions of human life.  When hope dies, we die. The psalmist David spoke this truth. "Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed." - Psalm 119:116.

But as long as there is hope, we can keep on keeping on through the even the worst of situations.  In fact, as Christians, this hope is at the core of the message we proclaim.  "... and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." - Romans 5:4.

That is the core of the gospel we proclaim, a gospel rooted in what we have just celebrated at Easter--the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  " Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,..." 1 Peter 1.3

I rejoice that I have a faith that is grounded in hope.

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