Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Easter Sunday, March 27 Read Romans 15:1-13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Abundant Hope

Alleluia, Christ is risen!

I am not sure there is a more hope-filled sentence in the English language than those four words. On this Easter Sunday – like all other Sundays, although admittedly with a bit more flair today – we celebrate that Christ has died, Christ is risen and Christ will come again. That alone gives us more than sufficient reason to hope.

Even as we celebrate this amazing day, we may have questions, as the disciple Thomas did, about Jesus’ resurrection. Is it real? Is it true? Even in the midst of our questioning, we trust and pray that God will fill us with joy and peace – the gifts that come from believing, but also the gifts that help us to believe.

Just think about those gifts for a moment. Peace and joy are gifts that we more often associate with the celebration of Christmas – Christ’s birth, rather than his death and resurrection. But they are forerunners to the gift of this day, the day of Christ’s resurrection. God fills us with peace and joy so that we may abound in hope.

Abound in hope. Abound is not a word that we use frequently. So just for fun, I checked on the synonyms, and this is what I found: thrive, flourish, prosper, overflow, be plentiful, be abundant. Hope is not just a band-aid we stick on when life is hard. It is a way of life. We live in hope. And through the gifts of God, we don’t merely survive, but we thrive in hope.

The tomb is empty. Christ is alive. And because of that, we have hope. Not just enough to get us by, but abundant hope. Overflowing hope. Hope that fills us up. Hope that lifts us up and sends us out into the world.

Alleluia! Christ is risen! May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Rev. Kristin Woelk
Associate Pastor, RLC


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