Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sure and certain hope

Several years back, when my father died a few years following my mother's death, I was approached by the Minister who was going to do his Service. The "Old Man" wasn't from a liturgical tradition as I have long been, consequently I was asked if there was anything I specifically wanted included in his (the Minister's) "words". I requested only that he make use of our Prayer of Commendation (you know, the one about our "sure and certain hope..."). I'm not really "down" with why I felt it important that particular prayer be said at a Baptist Graveside Service, but I felt it necessary. I suppose it's because those are words which provide me comfort from time to time, not solely during funerals.

Yesterday I was listening to a bit of "talk radio" while on the way to the Post Office and one of the callers was speaking to the use of the word "hope". His comments were not germane here; however, his and its definition were.
Hope - a trust and reliance upon God following our putting forth our own best efforts. A belief that a positive outcome is possible even when there is some evidence to the contrary, a spiritual grace. After we've done all we are capable of, hope is God's promise to do the rest. All we must do is allow it.
That struck a responsive chord and I suppose that's why those words hold such importance.


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