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Hope Springs Eternal

MILWAUKEE -- This is an absolutely amazing time of year. Things are warming up. The birds are out and singing again. Trees are budding. The grass is greening up. Occasionally the aroma of charcoal wafts through the air, bringing with it the sweet scent of big juicy chunks of meat (insert your favorite variety here). And to top it all off, baseball is back! The season is fresh and (all apologies to our Illinois friends) the Brewers are going all the way this year! Hope springs eternal. It's almost as though the world is trying to tell us, "this is going to be the best summer ever!" And it's only beginning.

Spring is such a wonderfully hopeful time. For many, this time of year is also a time of great spiritual hope. Very recently, those in the Christian tradition celebrated the most important event in Christianity: Easter. Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. After dying on a cross and spending three days in a grave, the Bible teaches that Jesus came back to life and walked out of his own tomb. For those who profess to follow Jesus, this event holds incredible hope. It is the evidence that what Jesus said was true. It is proof that he conquered evil and death. It is the down payment on God's promise to raise his people from their own graves one day. So all around the world Easter, and all its hope, was celebrated with great pomp and circumstance.

The beauty of hope is that it doesn't come when times are good. No one needs hope when life is already pleasant. No...hope comes when things don't look good. The beginning of spring isn't really that great a season all by itself. Here in Wisconsin it tends to be a wet, muddy time when all the snow piles turn brown and black as they melt away.  But the joy of this muddy, mucky time is that it reminds us that summer is coming. The flowers will be blooming soon. Winter is losing its icy grip and life and warmth are on their way. In contrast to the cold we've been going through, wet and muddy is awesome!

Life often works the same way. Hope comes in the dark times of our lives. But that's where it's needed most. We all walk through dark times. But never, never forget...there is always hope. There is always light and warmth and life to be found. If you can't seem to find any hope, please ask someone to help you. Sometimes finding hope is simply a matter of getting some perspective on things. For those of you who are members of the 128th, the chapel door is always open, even when it's not a drill weekend. (While Chaplains and Chaplain Assistants handle ancient truths, we are also well trained in the modern art of the cell phone!)

So, whether you find yourself inside the doors of a church or you simply enjoy the sermon preached by the scent of a lilac bush on a sunny day, my prayer for you is that you find and enjoy the gift of hope given to us this time of year.

God Bless You,

Chaplain Johnson