Sermons

Summary: The Christian life is one of radical hope...no matter what the circumstance.

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1 Peter 1:3-9

“Radical Hope”

By: Rev. Kenneth Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA

Is there any hope?

This is a question that many of us face at some point in our lives.

Is there any hope...for the married couple who seem to wind up at the same dead-end of unresolved conflict

again and again?

Or what about the person who has fallen victim to alcohol, drugs, or gambling or any of a number of

addictive behaviors?

The person who is in so deep that he or she fears they’ll never find a way out?

Is there any hope for them?

Where is the hope for the mom-to-be who goes to her obstetrician for a routine checkup and hears the

words, “I’m sorry. We can’t find a heartbeat?”

Or for a single mom who works a full-time job by day, serves as both mother and father by night and

wonders to herself-- “How long can I keep this up?”

Or the person who battles depression and anxiety?

Or the person who stands by their spouse’s bedside as they lay dying?

And where is the hope for a generation of young people who seem to be an easy mark for drugs, STD’s,

abuse, or the pain of a broken family?

The question is...Where is hope? What is it’s source? What reason is there to hope?

The dominant theme found throughout this letter from Peter is that there is hope.

And it is a radical hope!

We’re not talking about the wistful, nebulous optimism that in the end everything will turn out

alright---which is what--in this world--so often passes as hope.

We’re talking about Christian hope.

And Christian hope is a hope that does not rest on humankind...but on God and God alone.

This hope rests on the living God who is known by His loving deeds...

The God who raised Christ from the dead and gave Him glory, so so that our faith and hope can be in

Him.

Christ is the only One who offers us this hope which is incorruptable and undefiled and will never

fade away!

Therefore, Peter can say to us and to these early Christians... “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord

Jesus Christ!”

How astonishingly marvelous and new was the gift of hope to those first Christians!

“In His great mercy” God has given this living and radical hope to the world.

It’s not according to human merit, instead, it’s all about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!

The Resurrection and all that it meant to human life and history up until the time that Christ rose again...had

turned out to be no myth, no fable, no dreamy possibility conjured up by the human mind.

It was a free act of the merciful God who did something for us that we cannot do for ourselves.

And no amount of human energy or money can pay for it!!!

The gift of this living hope is appreciated so greatly by those who know what it is like to live under the

bondage of despair.

While Greco-Roman civilization abounded with beauty, with courage, and intellectualism, it was indeed a

world without hope!

Those who were economically and politically well situated were still living lives devoid of satisfaction.

And old age was faced with fear; people’s lives were continuously being threatened with misfortune and

tragedy, and early death was something that people desired over a life that had to end anyway.

In the 1960’s a rock and roll band named The Who summed up the thinking of a generation which was living

without the hope that comes from the resurrection.

Oddly enough, the song is entitled My Generation.

In it, the band belts out the lyrics: “I hope I die before I get old...”

To everyone who has ever been inundated by such a frustrating sense of despair and meaninglessness....

God has opened up the true destiny of life, for those who believe, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

The resurrection is indeed history’s greatest miracle!!!

By Christ’s resurrection, God has lit this inextinguishable hope in those of us who have experienced the new

birth.

Without the resurrection there would be no Christian Church because Christianity is a resurrection

religion!

The hope produced by the resurrection is a living and active reality; it produces the life of hope in which the

eternal power of God is at work.

And this life of hope finds it’s anchor in the One who is alive even now; it is not a product of human wishes,

and it is not contingent upon the passing and perishing hopes of this timebound world.

This living hope is based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

And it is a unique and personal event.

This is what we as Christians celebrate every Sunday....every day!

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John Dejarnette

commented on Dec 2, 2006

Excellent message. Having to wait for a heart transplant 10 years ago, it was this hope that kept me going. Not a hope for this life, but a hope to keeping faith with our gracious God.

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