A Cynical Hope
Topic: Topical Scripture: Romans 15:4–15:7
GK Chesterton once described our world as a shipwreck...where you see good things scattered about amidst a malaise of brokenness and chaos. One thing is sure about life in the 21st century; our world is in a state of constant change and uncertainty and it is difficult to find a sturdy anchor for life. Yet it is in the most difficult and troubled times that we learn about where we place our highest trust and where we find hope. One of the early leaders of the Christian movement once spoke about how God had given us the Scriptures to teach us and give us encouragement so that we might have firm hope living in a troubled world. Join us this summer as we discuss a cynical hope, a hope that does not embrace the pessimism around us but reaches out to God to find life and satisfaction in him.
There is much in the world that could bring us to become cynical people, even lead us to despair. At the same time we see much to be hopeful about in God's world. Our outlook/worldview on life greatly influences whether our journey is full or hope or full of despair. The central focal point in all of history is also the most hopeful. On Easter we celebrate that Jesus died for us, according to the ancient Scriptures (Isaiah 53) and rose from triumphant from death.
The resurrection is a vindication and confirmation of the work of God through Christ (Acts 17:31). It is also a foretaste of the Kingdom of God where life fully triumphs over death. In this way the resurrection is the first act of God's renewal from the curse of sin and death and we live in this renewal as his people today. Finally, the resurrection is a promise of our own coming resurrection when God wraps up history. We will be raised to new life and with never ending hope where death is vanquished and Christ is fully King (1 Cor 15:50-58). It is in this hope that we gather to celebrate Christ's historical, bodily and triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday. With Paul we now stand together before the great enemies of sin and death and joyfully talk trash "Death, where is your victory, where is your sting!"
This my friends is much better news than what comes from the Easter bunny.