A Little Glimmer of Hope

An invitation to the Evertsberg’s home. Bill reveals glimmers of good news, shares uplifting scripture and literature, and teases a Holy Week Bible Quiz. This week Bill focuses us on Paul’s letter to the church at Rome with reflections from Anne Lamott’s book “Almost Everything, Notes on Hope”.

Hi friends, my name is Bill Evertsberg. I’m one of the pastors at Kenilworth Union Church. Happy April Fools Day. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it seems to me as if the universe is playing a mean trick on me. But anyway, Jo and Katie and I want you to know that we pastors miss you intensely. A shepherd isn’t much good without his flock and so I’ll be reaching out to you with these weekly communications just to say hi and to bring you up to speed.

Thank you for maintaining your connection with your congregation. We hope you’ll join us for our Palm Sunday worship services, virtually of course, at 10:30 on Sunday morning. We will be celebrating the triumphful entry into the holy city, of course, and thank you for being patient with us while we deal with our technical glitches. We’re hoping to get it right this Sunday morning. We’ll be continuing with our sermon series called “Jesus’ Defects,” and here’s a little Holy Week Bible Quiz for you: What’s the first thing Jesus does after he enters Jerusalem as a prince in triumph? Here’s a little hint: this event is featured prominently in Jesus Christ Superstar, maybe you saw that wonderful production at New Trier High School a couple of weeks ago. So try to figure this out before you look it up, it’s very important. The first thing Jesus does after he enters the holy city in triumph.

So, you’ve probably noticed if you’ve been watching television at all, that many many celebrities and the early show anchors and the late show hosts are all scouring the earth for us to find glimpses of hope and glimmers of good news. Even John Krasinski—you remember Jim from The Office—John Krasinski has an internet show called SGN, Some Good News. And so Doogie and I are trying to do our part to find a little glimmer of hope and we were watching the evening news last night and discovered that the inventory at Chicago’s animal shelters is at an all-time low because so many families are coming in to adopt rescues to get them through this time of quarantine. That made Douglas and I so happy.

Here’s a bible passage that I thought might lift you up a little bit. This comes from Paul’s letter to the church at Rome. In chapter 5, Paul writes: “We boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God, and not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings because we know that sufferings produce character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the gift of the Holy Spirit which has been given to you.”

And then Anne Lamott, maybe America’s most famous Presbyterian; Bay-area Presbyterian Anne Lamott, great author, paraphrases Paul’s letter to Rome and she puts it like this: “Life is way wilder than I am comfortable with, way farther out, as we used to say, more magnificent, more deserving of awe, and, I would add, more benevolent—well-meaning, and kind. Waves and particles, redwoods, poetry, this world of wonders and suffering, great crowds of helpers and humanitarians, here we are alive, right now, together. I worry myself sick about the melting ice caps, the polluted air, and the coronavirus, but I still look forward with hope to the cleansing rains, the coming spring, the warmth of summer. John Lennon used to put it like this: ‘Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.’

“We have all we need to come through. Against all odds, no matter what we’ve lost, no matter what messes we’ve made over time, no matter how dark the night, we offer and are offered kindness, soul, light, and food, which create breadth and spaciousness, which create hope, sufficient unto the day.”

The lord bless you and keep you. Have a great day.