Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. 1 Peter 1:3-4
In China's Sichuan province, the city of Yingziu is pretty much gone.
The town was hit by an earthquake that measured in at 7.9 and is hardly recognizable. Things seem hopeless.
The elementary school was destroyed and the lives of 400 students were lost. Highways were cut; the mountains are scarred by landslides, and thousands are dead. Things seem hopeless.
Many of the readily accessible bodies have been removed, but authorities are convinced there are more - - many more - - undiscovered corpses buried beneath the wreckage. One man said, "I don't know what the future will be like here. This place doesn't seem suitable for human life."
He was saying what many believe: things seem hopeless.
But things are not always what they seem, and hope doesn't die so easily. A week after the earthquake, rescuers pulled a man from the wreckage. Almost 200 hours later, more than 7 days after the original devastation, a man, an executive who worked at the power plant, was rescued from the rubble. Against all odds, the man had cheated death.
At least for a while.
The truth is, while the man has been rescued and everyone is glad, his defeat of the grim reaper will only be for a short time. Someday, maybe soon, maybe decades from now, death will come calling for that man again. And the next time, or the time after that, the man will not escape. Death will come and stake an undeniable claim upon him, as it has upon all of sinful humanity.
This is why if we want hope, a real hope, a lasting hope, we need to be turned to Jesus Christ.
How did St. Peter say it? In Jesus Christ, we are born again to a living hope. Through the Savior's life, death, and resurrection we have a hope, an inheritance that cannot perish, that cannot be corrupted or be defiled. In Jesus Christ we have unfading hope of heaven.
In Jesus, we are given hope that even an earthquake rated at 7.9 cannot shake.
For that hope we join with St. Peter in saying, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Thanks be to God for making us a new creation, for giving us a living hope.
THE PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, You know that everything in this sinful world is transitory. Even the ground under our feet can shift out from under us. For this reason, we give thanks that You have, in the person, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, given us true, lasting, and unshakable hope. May we build our lives upon Him. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries