Never Lose Hope



All week long I have been sharing prayers from a prayer book I've been using throughout the season of Lent.  But today, since it's Good Friday, I decided to write my own prayer. 

Good Friday is part of what is known as the Triduum---the three holiest days of Holy Week:  Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.  It is the day we commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus which happened "between noon and three" in the afternoon on the Jewish Sabbath, which is Friday. 

So today I thought I would share some thoughts about the loss of hope, and this particular prayer came to me this morning:

May I discover the peace that comes from never losing hope even when all seems lost.  

I was reading something that the renowned lecturer and author Joan Chittister wrote in her book The Way of The Cross:  
Sometimes things don't have a happy ending in life.  They just grind on until loss becomes the new normal.  
It's true.  There are times in our lives when we fail.  We fall flat on our faces.  We lose spectacularly.

There are times when friends or loved ones betray us and let us down.  Lovers leave.  We are abandoned by family.  People die and leave us empty. 

As we consider Jesus on the Cross today, we cannot sugar coat the moment.  It was full of sorrow, of untold grief.  His own mother stood at the foot of his cross watching him die.  His followers abandoned him. 

He felt the loss of God so deeply it made him cry out, "Why have you forsaken me?"

And then he died, leaving his friends and family to wonder what came next, how to move forward.  It left them afraid for their own lives, ashamed of how they had run from him as soon as he was captured. 

But we know that the story didn't end there.  And our stories don't end there either.  All our griefs and all our losses may be too much for us to bear at the moment, but there are other moments for us.  There are other times and places for us to begin again. 

Joan Chittister puts it like this:
And yet it is out of the dark, wet dust of yesterday that life forever blooms.
There is a peace that comes over you in the rare moments when you truly embrace hope even when all seems lost.  And once you feel it, you can rest assured that no matter how that feeling might ebb and flow, at least you know what it feels like--enough to feel it again. 

May you find that peace that astounds all understanding today and every day.  May you feel hope even when all seems lost. May hope sustain you and bring you to joy despite the losses, deaths, and sadness you experience. 

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.


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