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A Easter reflection from our Chaplain, Stephen Gurr

Wednesday 31 March 2021

Hope Springs Eternal

Winston Churchill once wrote, “All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honour, duty, mercy, hope.”

And I’ve found myself thinking quite a bit lately about hope. How many times, I wonder, do we use the word ‘hope’ each day? “I do hope the nicer weather is on the way.” “I really hope things will work out.” “I hope today goes ok for you.” And I imagine the word hope has featured even more than normal over this past year in our conversations and thoughts…. “I hope things will be back to normal soon.” “I hope to be able to come and have a coffee with you again soon.” “I hope to be able to give you a hug soon.” “I hope to go on holiday to Scotland soon” (that’s certainly one of my real hopes!)

We carry within ourselves so much hope for all sorts of things. Being hopeful is a huge part of what it means to be human – it’s key to our human spirit. But, if we’re honest, sometimes remaining hopeful can feel quite an uphill struggle. Over this past year we have had so many hopes raised – some may have come to fruition, but other hopes may have been dashed, and when this happens we’re left feeling understandably deflated and wondering where we’ll get the energy from to keep on hoping once again, especially when hope is dashed time and time again. We may want to be hopeful but we know we’ve been there before! But hope, nonetheless, is, I believe, a drive within us that we will come back to again and again. We have to have hope – it keeps us sane! Our hopes may have to shift and change, we may have to rethink what hope likes now, today – but we do need to hope….somehow.

Just very occasionally something comes along and into our lives that’s a real surprise – something that exceeds all our expected hopes and dreams. We may have hoped for something good, but this is something that is more than we could ask or imagine. For me, that’s the sort of hope that lies at the heart of the Easter story. This story tells of a group of people who had all their dreams completely dashed. At rock bottom. Hope gone! But then into this despair they believe that the unimaginable happens before their eyes.

Whether the Easter story is one you relate to, connect with, believe in, or not, I like to think it’s a reminder to us all to keep and guard that bit of space within us that allows us to be open to the surprise and the wonder and the joy that can come from an altogether different direction, and when we least expect it.

Hope springs eternal, as they say!

I wish you a hope-filled Easter season.

I’m always happy to be contacted for a chat. You can contact email me at stephen.gurr@stbh.org.uk or give me a call on 01903 706374.