Mike Carscaddon reflects on the hope he witnessed in a slum in Ethiopia and calls on us all to put our trust in God
A significant portion of each of the four Gospels is devoted to telling the Passion narrative. They recount what Jesus does and says during the last week of His life, moving Him toward His crucifixion and confrontation with death on Good Friday. These final chapters are the heart of the Gospel.
Good Friday, with all of its pain and suffering, was inevitable. Jesus knew what was ahead of Him from the start. Yet, even as Jesus spoke His final words from the cross, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” He put His trust in God.
Today, as we observe Good Friday according to our own traditions, it may be easy to focus only on the dark, somber reality of the day. However, as Christians, we don’t despair, for we, too, put our trust in God. Because of Christ’s victory over death, we have a sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life.
Being hopeful is a powerful state and a mindset that means much to us at Habitat for Humanity. Several years ago, I visited an urban slum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We were going to see a community toilet project that had recently been completed and was providing the residents with proper sanitation for the first time. A woman approached us and said that her eyes had been opened and now she saw what was possible. She and her neighbors were eagerly planning their next project: a community kitchen. From the hopelessness of not even having a means of sanitation, she now had hope, and her entire outlook on life had changed.
Lord Jesus Christ, we come before You recognizing the pain of pardon and the depth of Your mercy. We acknowledge the sins of our hearts and seek Your forgiveness. We can hardly fathom a love so great that does not leave us in despair, but rather points us to the hope of resurrection. Thank You for Your gifts of mercy, grace and hope. May we be merciful, offer grace and provide hope in all that we do. Amen.
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