Until Then, Hope
Ash Wednesday recently fell in the middle of an historic winter storm in Texas. During the same week the pandemic crossed the milestone of 500k deaths, two of which were friends of mine. In thinking about what to give up for Lent and looking around at all the loss of the past year, combined with the storm knocking out the very basics of power and water for days in freezing temperatures, it somehow didn’t seem necessary to choose more things to do without. To paraphrase a line from the Narnia series, these days it feels like it’s "always Lent and never Easter."
But despite how it feels, there truly is Easter because of the Resurrection, and I am so grateful that Jesus took on all the fallenness of this world to overcome sin and death on our behalf. I look forward to eternity in the new heaven and new earth where “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Rev 21:4), and there will be no issues with power or water: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city” (Rev 22:1-2). “The glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp (Rev 21:23). “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever” (Rev 22:5).
Until then, we persevere in hope. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).