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The gift of hope

By: Margaret Borwn

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IT WAS with heavy hearts we came to Praia de Luz on May 6 for the morning service, knowing that a child had been missing for over 48 hours from the family’s holiday apartment in the village. We were led in prayer by the Reverend David Heal (and his wife Pamela) our Assistant Chaplain from 1995 to1998 and now on the last day of a month’s Locum.

As usual the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Luz was full and there were many small children present, including those of our new Chaplain Father Haynes Hubbard and his wife Sue. It was the fifth Sunday of Easter. Sad and anxious as we all felt, the theme of David’s Sermon was one of hope. Not as non-Christians may see it – a voice crying in the wilderness, wishy-washy and ignoring the truth of here and now, but that which we have through faith in the Resurrection of Christ.

Without hope so many things would remain undone. To believe that events are predetermined by arbitrary decree, one must submit to everything that happens as inevitable. Like Lemmings in a fast moving stream, our lives would be governed by chance alone: some might be washed ashore while the remainder drowned, unaware that they could swim. From earliest times, what sustained the human race if it were not hope?

This became associated with the hope of a promised Messiah in the time of Moses and expanded upon by The Prophets, who were looking for a warrior King as well as a religious leader to defend them against the Gentiles. But Jesus was not a warrior, he came as the Son of God to suffer and to die upon the Cross. His legacy lies in the history of his life in the New Testament and the gift of hope to all mankind.