Gazing upon the throne of heaven, Saint John saw God holding a sealed scroll that contained words of judgment and redemption for humanity. Upon learning that no one was found worthy to open the scroll and in so doing usher in the time of fulfilment, John broke down in tears. Was there no one who could open the scroll, and along with it, the floodgates of God’s mercy and grace?
John didn’t just weep over the fact that God’s redemption had yet to be revealed. He wept over the state of the human race. Back then, just as today, John saw a people torn by pain and suffering, violence and division. Where some held out hope in humanity’s ability to fix itself, John could see only a hopeless downward spiral.
But John’s sadness was turned to awe when a Lamb appeared who had the innocence, courage, and integrity necessary to open the scroll. Jesus Christ, Lord of heaven and earth, Lord of all human history, holds our destiny in his hands. There is hope after all. Despite our sin and weakness, God would not abandon his plan to offer us salvation and new life.
Hope is faith directed to the future. It is faith acting on and trusting in the promises God has made. It is hope that moves us to say “yes” to God, and it is hope that gives meaning to our trials. Hope tells us that we are destined to live with Christ and hope gives us the ability to continue on the road of discipleship in freedom and trust.
We all experience difficulties in our lives. But no pain or suffering can ever negate God’s promise to be with us always and to lead us into his eternal kingdom.