The sign on the front says, “Hope Center.” That is pretty much all that’s left other than a pile of burned rafters mixed in with the ashes of chairs, a piano, hymnbooks and a pulpit. The sign seems so ironic. But then again it could be prophetic. It all depends on the Hope Center worshippers. Out of tragedy and heartache come wonderful things if the broken-hearted so choose.
Before the cross there were God’s chosen people in Israel. From the horror and heartache of Calvary came a worldwide redeemed family from every nation, tongue, gender and race. There could be no forgiveness of sin had there not been the sacred sacrifice. There could not have been a resurrection Sunday without crucifixion Friday. And as Paul says in I Corinthians 15 if Christ is not risen then there is no hope for any of us and we are to be pitied. I am tempted here to say we have a wonderful hope. Instead I am going to replace the word hope with the word certainty. This is assured because we have a God who built a man out of the dust and will rebuild us out of His personal pain.
In our personal lives we experience failures and losses and can, if we choose, allow them to destroy any meaningful future happiness. But with God’s help we can rebuild out of the ashes something grand. It is all about the wonder and implementation of hope. That does not mean the past isn’t important. It means we take what we learned from those failures and losses and use those lessons to make ourselves stronger.
I’m hoping the people from Hope Center will rebuild something far more wonderful than what they lost. We shall see.
Written by Roger Bothwell on March 27, 2015
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574