A dad was late to his son's little league baseball game. Upon arriving he ran to the dugout and asked his son the score. The boy said, "Eighteen to nothing. They're winning." The father shaking his head said, "Well. Don't be discouraged." "Why should I be discouraged?" the son answered. "We haven't gotten to bat yet!"
I feel like that's been this year for many of us. It's been a crazy depressing year for Judy and me. Judy's older sister died among other family issues. My younger sister died. Many of you have gone through all sorts of serious issues concerning your health, your families, and your finances. I want to tell you it may seem it's eighteen to nothing, but we haven't batted yet. We will win.
Judy and I are hoping the changing of the year will somehow help change the score. We're hoping next year we'll get to bat and everything will be better for all. I don't know if the changing of the year has anything to do with changing how life rolls out, but I do know God has everything to do with how life rolls out. We serve the God of hope, so we're putting our trust in God.
Romans 15:13 May the GOD OF HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you TRUST IN HIM, so that you may overflow with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit.
How many could use an "overflow with hope"? Our being filled with and overflowing with hope is dependant upon putting our trust in him. I can do that. I must and I believe you can do it too. Sometimes that's all we can do.
It was interesting to me as I began thinking about what I wanted to share today I thought how Jesus, in his darkest and seemingly most hopeless time with the score eighteen to nothing, met with people he loved and instituted the New Covenant and brought hope for the future through communion. Only hours from his arrest and execution, we read,
Luke 22:14-20 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God."...And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME." In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is THE NEW COVENANT in my blood, which is poured out for you."
It would be through the Communion of the New Covenant hope would spring. Only hours after this, the disciples would be at their most hopeless moment. Their Lord would be arrested, executed by crucifixion, and buried. It would seem everything they thought and dreamed happening concerning all Jesus told them and the kingdom coming was only a dream. However, through communion, Jesus planted hope deep within them and hope would shortly come alive. Our hope is alive.
Jesus said, "Do this in remembrance of me." A major element of communion is remembering him. When we go into "remembrance" mode, we're looking into the past. We remember what he did for us on the cross, but not only on the cross. We remember all God has done for us personally. We remember all those bad times when the score was eighteen to nothing, but somehow you rallied and won. It's when we remember the past we can confidently move into the future where we come up to bat.
Yes, it's been a crazy year for us and for many, but when I remember, I've seen marriages reconciled this year. I've seen physical healings take place. I've seen financial miracles happen this year. I've seen people come to Jesus in a way they never had before. Our family is probably doing better than ever. All of that's exciting to me. The score really isn't eighteen to nothing. It's 100 to nothing and we're winning. As I remember, it's then my hope overflows. I have joy and peace because my Savior is alive.
As you come to communion today, recline at the table with the Lord, as it were. Go into remembrance mode. Take a moment and remember how God always came through for you. Put your trust in the God of hope and look forward. You will confidently move into your future. It's your turn to bat in 2013.
© Life Gate Ministries