Dear Friends,

LichfieldThe image shows Lichfield Cathedral lit up with the words ‘Reflect, Support and Hope.’ This was part of the National Day of Reflection as we remembered one year on from the first lockdown as the pandemic struck.

What is hope?

The image of Lichfield Cathedral bearing that word reminds us of the hard work of staff in the NHS, Care Homes, Supermarkets, Schools and many others who have worked hard during this pandemic. It reminds us of the hard work of scientists and others who have quickly developed vaccines. The image reminds us of the energy that people have generated to seek solutions and care for one another. Hope is linked to hard work and energy. It sustains people through difficult times.

Hope is different to being optimistic. Being optimistic does not require any work. Hope does. Hope is much more than a general idea that things will get better.

The word ‘Hope’ is often associated with Easter and the resurrection. The belief that Christ rose from the dead being a foundation for hope. Christian hope is founded in the character of God who raised Jesus and overcame death. Hope is not wishful thinking but a firm assurance that God can be relied upon because he has acted in the world and will continue to act in the world. The writer of Hebrews in the New Testament describes hope as ‘an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.’ Often in the Psalms, the writer says to God, ‘My hope is in you.’

As we experience and reflect on the Easter story, are those words we echo? ‘My hope is in you?’

Have a blessed Easter season.