Lenten Devotion: With gratitude and hope

Now the festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was near. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Jesus to death, for they were afraid of the people. (Luke 22:1-2)

With gratitude and hope

We are people of gratitude and hope. As Christians, this is our orientation to life no matter what is happening to us. Whether present circumstances are sunny and bright or threatening and cold, we face each new day and every fresh circumstance with these attitudes.

Because we know … God. We know the Love God is. We know what God has done and promises to do.

At the end of his life and ministry, Jesus prepares to celebrate Passover with this friends, the 12 he had chosen as disciples on brighter days back home in Galilee.

Passover is a meal of identity and hope. It recalls and celebrates the Exodus of the people of Israel from Egyptian slavery. This event marked their identity as a nation, a people chosen and cherished by God.

Passover also looked forward to the appearance of the Messiah, the Promised One who would usher in the rule of God’s mercy and justice, filling the earth with God’s holy Presence even as the waters cover the sea, the prophets said.

It was a meal of gratitude for everything God had done to choose, love, guide and abide with the people, and a meal of hope for a world so much better than the one we experience.

Knowing he will soon suffer rejection and death, Jesus prepares for the Passover meal where he will renew God’s ancient covenant with Israel and extend it beyond one nation to every nation.

He will expand the promises of God beyond one people to every soul ever born … that we may greet every day with gratitude for the immensity of love God pours out on us… and with hope for total union with the Love who wakes us each new morning.

Pr. David L. Miller