New Hope in Jesus
Jesus said to his disciples, “God blesses you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is given to you. God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for the time will come when you will laugh with joy.” – Luke 6:20-21 (NLT)
Mother Teresa tells of her experiences in starting a mission in Melbourne, Australia (Loving Jesus,1991,84). She and her Sisters, the Missionaries of Charity, divided up in pairs and went around to the poor, the “skid row” area where their house was located. They came to the place of an old man who seemed neglected and surrounded by filth. “Please allow us to clean your place, wash your clothes, and make your bed,” Mother T. said. “Don’t bother, I’m all right,” he responded. “You’ll feel better if you allow us to clean everything up a bit,” she insisted. He answered, “Well, you can if you want.”
The Sisters cleaned and washed everything. In the corner of the room they saw a beautiful lamp covered with filth. “Do you light this lamp in the evening?” they asked. He looked at them and said, “For whom? For years nobody has come to see me.” “Would you light the lamp if my Sisters came to see you, “Mother Teresa asked. “Yes, of course!” he responded with a smile. She cleaned up the lamp and left it sparkling. The Sisters visited him every evening and he lit the lamp for them.
Meanwhile Mother Teresa went on to other places and forgot about him. But the light of Christ’s deliverance and love stayed lit in his heart and mind. A couple of years later he sent word through the Sisters in Australia, “Tell my friend Mother Teresa the light she has lit in me is still burning. It is still burning – and others have seen it, too.”
When we look to Jesus for strength and grace to live for today and tomorrow, then we will not be disappointed. Jesus can fill us with joy and light by walking with us in our depression, helping us through difficult economic times, and weeping with us in our grief. Hope comes in and through other Christians who represent the Body of Christ, because our salvation resides not in anything we do, or anything in this world, but it comes from God who loved us enough to send us Jesus as our Savior.
Bringing It Home:
1. Feeling the pressure to be happy when you can’t or don’t want to? It’s ok. Don’t keep trying to force yourself to be what you are not. Remember that Jesus wasn’t always happy either. Instead, bathe yourself in Scripture and prayer, that you may seek hope in Jesus who loves you, and saves you. United with Christ, you will overcome the dark hours and return to the light of the Son.
2. Do you know someone who has been going through a difficult time recently? Enlist the help of a friend and reach out to them with the love of Jesus. Offer comfort, assistance, and companionship to them. Pray with them. Above all, acknowledge that they are going through a difficult time, and that you are with them, and that God is with them always.
Lord God, I confess that far too often I seek the things of this world, and I seek false happiness and joy, which never bring peace. Help me instead to find happiness in serving others and in learning to depend upon Jesus, who brings me your steadfast love and grace. I am so blessed to be a recipient of your passionate love in Jesus. Give me a grateful heart. Help me share the life-changing love of Jesus with others who need it. Amen.
John A. Holm
Transforming Church Institute