The Reason for Your Hope

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Acts 8: 5-8, 14-17; 1 Peter 3: 15-18; John 14: 15-21

Dc. Larry Brockman


Are you ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope?  Because, Peter advises us all to be ready.   

First, of course, we have to agree that there is hope!  Now all of you gathered here today have lived a good, long life.  I am sure that they are lives filled with the richest of experiences and blessings.   

But hope points to the future, not to the past.  And realistically, as we get older, our ability to hope for the great things of this world diminishes.  I doubt if any of us will be able to make the Olympics; none of us is going to be a dashing movie star; and mountain climbing, sky diving, and all those thrills don’t seem in the cards for us.  None of us will become renowned world scholars either; and making lots of money or coming up with a fantastic invention are out of the question as well.  So, just what is our hope?   

Let me give you a hint:  We are in the Easter season and Easter reminds us of the hope we have for resurrection of the body in the Kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus promised that all of us who believe in him and keep his commandments would be welcomed into his Kingdom.    And you know what?  The older and more experienced you become, the better able are you to project that kind of hope.  Because you know- you know that everything this world has to offer like good looks, money, athletic ability, fame, rich food and even sex is going to pass us by, and we will need something else to hope for.   

That’s the way God planned it.  He planned for all of us who reach maturity to have the ability to reflect on the real meaning of life so that we could find hope for the future that life brings.  As a Christian, we learn from the lessons of living in the world that God’s Kingdom is the ultimate goal and reality; and that it is our hope.   

Now Jesus promises some things in today’s Gospel:  He promises us that if we love him and keep his commandments then he will give us the spirit of truth, who will guide us through thick and thin.  And that if we keep the Faith, then he will be with us always, and he will find a place for us in the Kingdom of God.  That, then, is our Christian hope.  And it is our hope precisely because our experiences all tell us “It was great, but it doesn’t last, and it isn’t what life is all about”.  We are all so much more capable of understanding that than those riding high in the prime of life.   

And so, we need to live our senior years with dignity and grace by being cheerful and hopeful for the future; by showing everyone love because we realize it is the thing that lasts and lasts forever; and by patiently enduring the trials and tribulations of this world because we hope for, and we know with certainty, that the Kingdom of God is ours.   

When we live like that we are living the reason for our hope.  And all those immersed in the prime of life can’t help but see just exactly what Christian hope is all about.  And they will begin to understand that there is something better for them as well.


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