Branching Out Blog

Looking Ahead with Hope

Posted by Sharon Krause on Mar 21, 2022 6:00:00 AM

Have you noticed how time flies by, even when a pandemic and bad world news seem to bog us down? It is time to look at the calendar and plug into some hopeful thoughts.

Easter, with all its Resurrection hope and joy, is less than a month away. We still have time to take advantage of the opportunities for repenting, forgiving others, and resetting our priorities where needed. No matter how crazy this world can seem, Jesus offers all of us chances to start over and come closer to him.

In a few days, we will celebrate the hopeful feast of the Annunciation. Despite her age, the teenager, Mary, humbly believes God can do the seemingly impossible and allow her to become the mother of his Son. In the glow of the archangel Gabriel’s presence, she looks ahead with generosity and hopeful, faithful submission. If she could trust God’s will at her young age, how can we doubt that God will see us through any challenge?

In the Sequence prayer on the feast of Pentecost, we hear that the Holy Spirit is the best of comforters and our soul’s most welcome guest. This same Spirit is coolness in the heat and solace in the midst of woe. The Spirit has many gifts to give us, so we need to be receptive all the time, not just at Pentecost. The Third Person of the Blessed Trinity is a healer, a purifier, a guide and shining light to help us combat worldly despair.

In about nine months, on Christmas, we will celebrate that the miracle promised to Mary was made manifest. What hope can we nurture in this gestational time? Can we prayerfully encourage ourselves and others to nurture trust in God’s mercy despite the tragedies in this world? Can we grow love and generosity in our hearts and minds so that we offer saving help to others in need?

 

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Topics: Sharon Krause, hope in God

Same Numbers

Posted by Sharon Krause on Sep 10, 2021 6:00:00 AM

How we use words and numbers evokes different responses and understanding. Let’s consider the numbers 9 and 1. If we call 9-1-1 on the telephone, we are calling for help in an emergency or accident situation. When we solemnly recall the horrific events of 9/11, we remember the terrible terrorist attacks that claimed so many innocent lives. However, there are at least 11 instances in the various books of the Bible that present hopeful messages when we check out 9:11that is, chapter 9, verse 11. I will show you what I mean.

In Deuteronomy 9:11, we read that after 40 days and 40 nights, Moses received the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments. Even though Moses would fling those tablets in anger at the sinning Israelites, we do see that God was seeking a covenant with his people. God gives us many second chances and wants relationship with us. That should inspire hope in all of us.

In Nehemiah 9:11, we are reminded of how God divided the Red Sea so the Israelites were able to pass and get away from the Egyptians who had enslaved them. Again, we see a reason for hopefulness.

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Topics: hope, hope and promise, Sharon Krause, hope in God

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