I want us to think about the hopes we have. Peter, in his epistle, tells us to… “Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have… If someone came up to one of us at this very moment would we have an answer, could we explain the hope or hopes we have?
What is it that gets us going every day? What is the hope in our lives, in our hearts, and in our souls that keeps us looking forward to this day and the next and the next and the one after that? If someone asked us why we keep doing the things we do, what answer would we give.
Or when the world is beating us down what is the hope that keeps us going? Peter is telling us we should have our elevator speeches ready. If the question were asked could we answer with 15 words or less what our hope is?
Think about it. Are the things that we place our trust in earthly things, material things we can hold in our hands or are they goals we want to accomplish while we are living here or are our hopes more than that?
If you were to ask some people they might say, “I sure hope the Cubs win the pennant this year,” or the Cardinals or…the Warriors. Or I sure hope they bring all our sons and daughters home soon. Or I sure hope they get this economy straightened out. Or I hope I have enough saved to enjoy my retirement. Are these our hopes?
Or…do you hope for something more? Are you hoping that Jesus has a room ready for you or that he’s coming back for you? Is your hope in the Word, Jesus the Messiah? Can you explain what it is you hope for?
I imagine Jesus’ disciples were hoping that what Jesus was telling them was real. Even after the resurrection they may have still been struggling with understanding what Jesus was saying.
After all how could he go to be with the Father and still be with them? And who is this Friend, this Spirit of Truth? Their hope and trust was in Jesus and his words. There had never been anyone like Jesus. No one had ever said or done the things he did.
These disciples were hoping they weren’t going to be left alone. They were hoping for this Spirit of Truth. They were hoping to experience Jesus within them and they weren’t sure what that was going to be like. Jesus had always been there for them and so they trusted him even if they didn’t understand how this was going to happen.
Why are we the way we are? Why are we here today worshipping an unseen, unknown God? Can we explain that to our friends?
Picture a 2-year old asking their “why’s.” Why’d you do that? Why do I have to do this? Why can’t I do that? Why Daddy? Now picture you’re neighbor.
Why do you go to church? Why do you give people food? Why do you help people with gas money? Why do you help those who should be able to help themselves? Why?
Why do you believe there’s a God who loved you so much that he came and died for you? Why do you believe that he forgives you? Why?
Friends, my hope is in Jesus and his love, mercy, and grace. God loves me and that’s it for me. I hope for peace and joy and God’s grace and eternal life.
Friends, what are your hopes? Remember God loves you. Thanks be to God. Amen.