It has been almost a year since the prime minister announced a national lockdown, starting what might have been the most isolating and challenging time of my/lots of peoples life so far. I remember saying goodbye to my flatmates at uni and saying, ‘but don’t worry- I will see you in a few weeks when this all blows over’. It is funny to look back now on all the times where the only thing keeping me going was the perceived light at the end of the tunnel- I’m not sure I would have coped if I was told what was to come in the following months. I have learnt to appreciate the really small things in life, whilst looking forward to a time where we can meet with friends inside, or be singing and worshipping at church!
Although the various lockdowns and restrictions have changed life as we once knew it, there has always been something to cling onto: hope. Hope that we will be able to see family for Christmas, hope that the vaccines will be available, hope that this will one day be a distant memory. Without hope there is little joy in living everyday and making the most of what we have. In a human sense, hope might be wishing for something to happen, or relying on factors outside of our control to determine our impending happiness.
With Jesus, we have a hope that is unlike anything else. A biblical hope is knowing, not just wishing, that God is in control, and that we are saved. Jesus offers something that the world cannot, eternal life. And whilst we are living in an increasingly desperate world looking for hope, ‘we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure’ (Hebrews 6:19). I think I have started to realise how important holding onto the smallest bit of hope is to all of us in a global pandemic, yet anything this world offers is fleeting. The hope that Jesus gives us is the only thing we will ever need in life. For Christians, this doesn’t mean that life won’t be hard. But it does mean that we have a God who is in control, and who loves to care for us through those hard times. The world needs hope, and God offers that through the resurrection of Jesus.