Hope and Renewal


“…the liturgical reenactment of the death and resurrection of Jesus can influence our perspective to see that life, though tragic at times, is not beyond hope and renewal (Gula, 1989).”

As children we are often sheltered from tragedy–or at least our parents attempt to shelter us. Unfortunetly, tragedy occurs anyway no matter how much we are sheltered, no matter how much we prepare. I have seen friends come back after difficult break-ups, family live again after a death, and a country mourn the loss of thousands of loved ones.

How do we stand up from our tragedies? With hope and a renewed sense of life.

My workplace recently suffered a fire caused by a member of the community. Although her mental state was most likely to blame for the act, it still hurt that someone would purposefully put others, and themselves, in danger.

We have been displaced from our offices for about two weeks and our worship space for about three months while cleaning and repairs happen. It is a disorienting feeling to have a place you love and worship in be purposefully damaged. It is scary to thing that this woman could have hurt so many people; so many I have grown to love. The incredible part is how the community has stepped up to take care of each other; both the students and residents, and the surrounding community.

How do we stand up from our tragedies? With hope and a renewed sense of life.

This community is so much more than just the space we worship in. Once we knew we would not be in our worship space for some time, we went about finding an alternate worship space. An auditorium on campus has become our temporary house of worship. We are so much more than the space we worship in.

The first weekend after the fire was inspiring. Our numbers were down somewhat, but we easily made the switch of location because we crave that community, we long for that community  and familiarity displaced from the fire. Throughout our liturgical reenactment of Jesus’ life and death that weekend, we regained our hope, our renewed sense of life that would not have existed if we did not come together to worship in community. What brought us together was the hunger to know that there is someone more than us “out there” who knows, loves, and cares for us deeply. How do we experience that knowing, loving and caring? Through those around us. I find my hope and renewed sense of life through Jesus Christ, shown to me in the eyes of another.

How do we stand up from our tragedies? With hope and a renewed sense of life.

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