Words From The Heart: Special Weekly Reflection #41

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“Therefore, once you have your minds ready for action and you are thinking clearly, place your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
1 Peter 1:13 (CEB)

I watched social media during the final weeks of 2020 and without exception the sentiment was “goodbye 2020, hello 2021.” There was so much hope expressed that with the new year, everything would be different. Human beings cling to hope – it seems to be how we are wired. The problem is that we too often put our hope in things that fail and disappoint us.

January 1 is not a magic day, erasing all of the past. In fact, it isn’t even New Year’s Day in many calendars and cultures. Chinese New Years is February 12 this year. Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, begins the evening of September 6 and ends the evening of September 8. New Years in Ethiopia is September 11 this year.

On our calendar, January 1 came and went and the pandemic is still with us. Not even a week into the new year we watched with horror the events that took place in and around the Capitol building in Washington DC.

The point to all of this is that it matters where we place our hope. In his first epistle, the apostle Peter hits this head on. Life was never easy for these first followers of Jesus. Every time they spoke, they put their lives on the line. In light of that, we read this in 1 Peter 1:13: “Therefore, once you have your minds ready for action and you are thinking clearly, place your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

Peter tells us to look beyond these challenging days. With the hope we have in Jesus Christ, in the midst of the present storms we are called to focus on what will happen once the storm has passed. Without that hope in the grace of God, the best a person can do is hope that this will all come to an end one day, and then we can pick up the pieces of whatever is left, and do our best to press on. We who follow Christ are called to something far greater.

Peter calls us to two things in the midst of the present challenges. First, we are to have our minds ready for action. I recently read a book on Winston Churchill and the bombing of London during the Second World War. In the midst of the constant bombardment, with the Nazis controlling Europe and the world looking so dark, plans were being made for what would be D-Day — the Normandy invasion that would lead to the defeat of the Nazis. In the midst of this pandemic, we are called to have our minds ready for action. Second, Peter calls us to think clearly. There has been a lot of crazy thinking going on lately. Christian, avoid that. How, you ask?

Peter gives us that answer – there is coming a day when Jesus will be revealed. Putting our hope solely in Jesus and His ultimate victory, we are able to have our minds ready for action and our thinking clear.

I’m Bob Beasley, and these have been words from the heart.