You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. Psalm 30:11  

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Last Sunday was Pentecost when we remember and celebrate the giving of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, the birthday of the Christian church. The disciples were worried, we read they were huddled in rooms hiding. Jesus comes to them and assures them that though He is gone, the Holy Sprit will be sent. They may still have been in mourning and fearful at the loss of Jesus, but the Holy Spirit is about to show up. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit arrives as tongues of fire – no question but that there was something wonderful happening. There was joy and hope and excitement as they were able to spread the message to people from all countries.  

God is a God of hope. Not a hope in the sense of a vague wish or a pipe dream. Rather this is a hope that God has promised to us. We have hope in God who promised us the blessings of righteousness that come to us through Jesus. We can abound in hope – in the very quantity and quality of God’s love for us. The Holy Spirit is here with us. No atter how sad we may be, or discouraged, we too can have joy and peace as we believe in our Lord. This hope is not something scarce, or only available sometimes. It is there for all of us, all of the time – a hope that is abounding for all.     

Sustaining and comforting Spirit, you fill us with joy, even when we mourn and grieve for losses we have faced. You replace the broken and shredded parts of our lives with complete and sturdy walls to support us through challenges. Your light is a beacon of hope for us to find our way back to you. Thank you for dispelling darkness and despair making our hearts abound with hope, joy, and peace.  Let our lives and words be a joyful testimony of your love. . Amen!  

Chris Gabel