Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Tuesday, March 1 Read Matthew 5:1-14

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

Hope … and Prayer

How often a day does a person use the word “hope”? I hope it doesn't rain. I hope the doctor is on time. Or, I hope my children and grandchildren are happy and healthy. Has the word become as trivial as "like" or "love"? I like ice cream, or I love warm weather. So, when we say we hope, are we being trite?

Even before I received this verse, I was jotting notes and putting thoughts on paper. I realized that when I use the word “hope” in a more serious situation, I also say "and pray."

As I began writing, I was hoping and praying that my dear friend Frank, who lived in Houston, would not suffer. He had been diagnosed with a fast-acting leukemia in July, and he was struggling. Two days later, I received word from his wife that Frank had gone to Jesus.

I believe that the Holy Spirit works in miraculous ways. Two days later, I received the verse for my Lenten writing: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

The hope (and prayers) I requested for my friend, who no longer suffers, were answered. Now I hope and pray that the words Jesus spoke on the Mount of Olives will truly comfort his wife, Becky, and his family and friends.

How blessed we Christians are to know we will be comforted. We will still grieve. We will still feel empty when we lose a family member or a friend. We can definitely mourn, but we know that we will be comforted.

Because we have that comfort, we are able to face each new day with hope.

Becky posted on Facebook the day before Frank's funeral that "we have the hope and reassurance that we will see each other again." Hope and being comforted go hand in hand always.

Thank you, Jesus, for that comfort.

Barbara Orsak

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