18 I believe that the present suffering is nothing compared to the coming glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19 The whole creation waits breathless with anticipation for the revelation of God’s sons and daughters. 20 Creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice—it was the choice of the one who subjected it—but in the hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from slavery to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 We know that the whole creation is groaning together and suffering labor pains up until now. 23 And it’s not only the creation. We ourselves who have the Spirit as the first crop of the harvest also groan inside as we wait to be adopted and for our bodies to be set free. 24 We were saved in hope. If we see what we hope for, that isn’t hope. Who hopes for what they already see? 25 But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience.
For those who have traveled with Paul we know suffering became a regular part of Paul life as an Apostle. Thinking about Paul and his life I am not sure how he did not become bitter, defeated or hopeless. In the reading above it tells us why. The apostle understood that “the essential quality of hope is that it is oriented to something in the future that one expects but does not yet possess (Rom 8:24–25).”* He knew real hope grew, not from human resolve or strength, but from the sustaining presence of God’s Holy Spirit.
This hope Paul speaks of is available to each of us today. It is not a wish or a thing, the hope Paul speaks of comes in the form of a person, Jesus Christ. We have been blessed with the means to better know God through Jesus. To know this hope through the study of scripture and each other. Jesus himself said He would never leave us orphaned and gave us the Holy Spirit, the mighty Counselor, to remind us of this hope, peace, joy and love that came through His life to us. Grab your Bible and read. There are so many beautiful lessons that will help in your relationship with God. Amen...
Almighty God, my Lord Jesus, I don’t like this pandemic time. I don’t like it when I or someone I love is sick, or unemployed, or sad and disappointed.Yet, I’m truly thankful that even in these times, especially in these times, you are with me every moment. Lord, may good come from this time of uncertainty. May it draw us closer to You and to each other. Lord, bless this nation, bless the church I serve and each soul. May unity in this time become our strength and help us get through this crisis. Father, forgive me of my sins as I look to forgive people in my life. I pray this in Your Son's name. Amen
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006