Whenever your church board meets for the first time after this Easter Day, there is a good chance that hope will be echoing through the corridors of your church. That is Easter. Easter offers hope to the faithful. Easter does this in good years and hard years, in times of promise and in times of caution.
For all the talk about it, though, hope is not a word – or a promise – that we take time to examine carefully. Where is hope to be found? Any measure of time your board can allow to take up this question will be time well spent and will provide dividends in your gatherings from Easter on.
In the following poem, Lisel Mueller (1924-2020) takes up the challenge – Where is hope to be found?
by Lisel Mueller
It hovers in dark corners
before the lights are turned on,
it shakes sleep from its eyes
and drops from mushroom gills,
it explodes in the starry heads
of dandelions turned sages,
it sticks to the wings of green angels
that sail from the tops of maples.
It sprouts in each occluded eye
of the many-eyed potato,
it lives in each earthworm segment
it is the motion that runs
from the eyes to the tail of a dog,
it is the mouth that inflates the lungs
of the child that has just been born.
It is the singular gift
we cannot destroy in ourselves,
the argument that refutes death,
the genius that invents the future,
all we know of God.
It is the serum which makes us swear
not to betray one another;
it is in this poem, trying to speak.
Which image of hope stands out most for you in Mueller’s poem?
Across all the images, what does she seem to be saying about where hope can be found?
Where do you find hope in the Easter message?
How does that hope inform your vision as a church board?