Jesus our Hope (26-03-22)
Bible Reading: Romans 15:8-13
Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God's truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: "Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles;
I will sing the praises of your name."
Again, it says, "Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people."
And again, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; let all the peoples extol him."
Isaiah says, "The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the nations will hope." May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We recently watched a documentary on the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami in the Indian Ocean which claimed the lives of an estimated 230,000 people. Today the worst-hit places, places like Aceh in Indonesia, have been rebuilt and repopulated, even though the fault line that caused all the trouble is still there. No sea defences are ever going to stop a fifty-foot tsunami wave. I wonder where they put their hope for the future.
More recently the current pandemic has affected the lives of most of the eight billion people around the world. It has claimed the lives of an estimated six million people, and it is still present. Modern science and technology have done a remarkable job but, to some extent, are always playing catch-up to the virus. I wonder where we put our hope for the future.
And then there is climate change. We may not be around to see the full effects of climate change, but what hopes do we have for our children and our grandchildren? I wonder where they will put their hope for the future.
The Good News of Jesus is the Gospel of hope. As Paul nears the end of his letter to the church in Rome his heart is filled with praise for what God has done, not only for the Jewish race into which he was born, but also for the gentiles to whom he became a missionary. The word ‘gentiles’ is often translated as ‘nations’, all who were not part of God’s original chosen people, you and me. Let us join with him:
I will praise you among the Gentiles
I will sing the praises of your name
Paul then continues, ‘In him the nations will hope’. We may put our hope in vaccinations, in sea defences or in zero carbon emissions, and they are all good, but ultimately Jesus is the hope of the nations. May we all place our hope in him, that we might find joy and peace as we trust in him.
God of hope, I put my trust in you.
Fill me with your joy and peace so that I may overflow with hope through the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen
Jesus, Hope of the nations