Vulnerable. This is a word that describes quite well the human condition. This week we have witnessed national coverage of a horrific school shooting in Nashville and deadly tornadoes sweeping across Alabama and Mississippi with forecasters warning more storms could be coming this weekend. So many threats from microscopic organisms, to weather patterns, to the most depraved and evil intentions of the human heart, we are vulnerable.
So what are we to think and do in light of such vulnerability? Is there any escape from the fear and potential despair in our vulnerable state?
The church in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) knew well their own vulnerability. They were victims to many of the same threats and concerns that plague the modern world. In fact, they were often beleaguered with concerns about persecution and regular harassment from their political and religious leaders. Yet, Peter writes to this church with a beginning shout of praise as he states, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Peter 1:3). Knowing their situation and the threats constantly around them, Peter recognizes that something greater than their own vulnerability was at work. The basis for his and the church’s praise was the work of God applied in their lives. He states that, “He (God) has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
A genuine and vital hope! Hope is one of the most powerful realities we can experience (“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three,” (1 Cor 13:13)). For the Christian, hope is the expression of the confidence we have in the person and power of God. Therefore, the hope in which we stand is neither circumstantial nor fleeting. Rather, our hope is established and settled in the power and reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Therefore, alongside our vulnerability God gives us hope.
I pray that you will join us this week as we begin with the celebration of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Then join us again Friday evening as we remember and celebrate the death of Jesus for our sins. Then unite once more on Sunday as we join with believers around the world worshipping our risen Savior who is our hope.