Rev Moss

One of the great joys of body surfing is being dumped by a big wave. It feels like you are caught in a washing machine. You are spun around until you do not know which way is up. Your arms and legs are flung in all directions. Sometimes you are pinned to the bottom until the wave rolls over you. You then find your way to the surface for that breath of fresh air. Being dumped can leave you disorientated, but it is fun.

However, it is not so much fun when life leaves you feeling disorientated and beaten up. Sadly, it should not surprise us. The Bible tells us that we live in a skewed, broken and disorientated world where death, disease and relationship break-downs reign. No wonder the future can seem bleak with very little hope on the horizon.

In Chapter 4 of 1 Thessalonians, Paul wrote the following words to people who were struggling to find hope in a disorientated world:

13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

Paul says that there is hope. Firstly, there is hope because Jesus, the king, is alive. Jesus has risen from the dead and now reigns as king. Some days the hurt will pin you to the ground. Some days we experience the brokenness of the world more acutely than others. However, there is a great comfort to know that good and love still reign even though it might not feel that way now.

Secondly, death is not the end of everything. Paul speaks of a day when all those who crown Jesus as king will live again. However, this time it will be different. It will be living the way it was meant to be. Life without the scars of this sinful and broken world. It will be a life that keeps going and will not be cut short by death. This hope is our ultimate reality. This hope should shape and give meaning to the present. It re-orientates us and shows us which way is up. This amazing hope also encourages us to take risks now because we know that the future is secure. There is no need to spend time and energy on the impossible task of bringing security to the present. This hope frees us to live now, to enjoy each other and our Creator.