Sunday, and Why We Have Hope

I’ve just come home from my church’s sunrise service on Yellowhill in Stirling; it was a beautiful way to start off Easter Sunday, and it’s the first sunrise service I’ve ever been to. After the service we went back to the church and sat down together to eat bacon rolls and drink juice, tea, and coffee.

I really felt like part of a great community this morning. I felt welcome and loved; I felt like an important part of the Body of Christ and, praise Jesus, that’s exactly what I am. I hope that on this Easter Sunday everyone can feel like part of a family, even if that isn’t a church family, and for those who don’t I hope and pray that God will bring that to you.

However, on the way home, at around 8:00 am, we drove past a girl who was doing what is known as “the walk of shame”. She was wearing what I can only assume were last nights clothes and was carrying her shoes; but this wasn’t the saddest part. The saddest part was that this girl looked completely heart broken. And I’m not making that up or over emphasising it for some sort of dramatic affect; she genuinely looked incredibly upset as we drove past and she continued to slowly amble on home.

For a long time in my life I felt insignificant. I felt small and alone and like not a single soul in the world cared about me or thought I was worth anything. Last night I was browsing through some photos that a friend had taken on a recent trip to San Francisco and there were some amazing snaps of the Golden Gate Bridge. Suddenly it hit me that even though this bridge is absolutely enormous, in the eyes of Jesus, God, the Creator of the Universe, I am immeasurably more significant than the Golden Gate Bridge will ever be. I am more significant to the Lord than any of these grand statements made by man, I’m more significant than the beasts of the field and the birds of the air that He Himself created.

Jesus died on the cross for all of us, so that we could all understand how significant we are to God. He didn’t come for the righteous, those above their station, the strong, the mighty; as it says in the Beatitudes, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3), Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. ” (Matt. 5:5-6). 

And, as Luke puts it perfectly:
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

However, to return to the girl I talked about above, I think it’s easy to just drive past people like this and make sweeping judgements. But I used to drink and party on a regular basis. Fortunately I never did “the walk of shame”, I never went home with a guy, but what if I had? Would that mean Jesus would love me any less, would He be angry with me, would He feel less forgiving? No. Not at all. In fact it would break His heart to have seen me in that situation, to be looking for affection and love in one of many places where I would never find it. It would break His heart because He loved me so much that He died for me, and proved to death that even it wasn’t strong enough to stand in His way.

My Lord is stronger than death, His love is stronger than any I could find any where else, so why would I try and find that in anything but Him?

These days I sometimes sit and think about how lucky I am to know Jesus, to have chosen to follow Him and allow Him to take control of my life. I have never felt so safe, so worry free, so content. I have my struggles, yes, life as a Christian isn’t life lived through rose-tinted glasses, but I always have Jesus to help me, to carry me through the tough times. I was once blind, but now I see, I see what the world is longing for, in fact I have what the world is longing for, because God has given me the ability to have faith in Him; He has given me so many reasons to believe and I’ll never stop.

So on this Easter Sunday I hope you can realise your significance. You are loved, you are important, you are more than enough, the Creator of this Universe, our God, the Lord Jesus Christ, wants you to know that.

x

Sunrise over the Ochils on Easter Sunday morning at Yellow Hill, Stirling, Scotland.
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