1 Peter 1:3-9 In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
In The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood describes a futuristic society in which the heroine comes upon an ancient graveyard. One of the grave stones has an anchor on it, an hourglass, and the words “In Hope.” She wonders: “Why did they put that above a dead person? Was it the corpse hoping? Or those still alive?”
Hope is a scarce commodity. Peter writes that God in his great mercy has given us a new birth into a living hope. Such hope “brings . . . news of a door that opens at the end of a corridor, sunlight and singing; when (we) had felt sure that every corridor only led to another, or to a blank wall” (T. S. Eliot). Because we have a living hope, it illumines and enlivens the present as well as the future.
Many people have no such living hope. They have little hopes, dead-end hopes. They hope that their children will marry well, that the car will last another year, that they will die in their sleep in old age. They do not hope that in the end all will be well.
A living hope believes the pall of death is lifted. We walk not under the shadow of death but in the light of God. This radically new existence comes as a gift from God, made possible through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our death conqueror.
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