“Jesus of Nazareth…was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.”

-Luke 24:19-21

We all have hopes don’t we? I had hoped to spend a few days of leave over the
holiday break catching up on my reading and enjoying some time with my lovely

In reality, I spent 4 days spreading 200m2 of mulch to avoid a possible local council fine for a house my wife and I are restoring in South Australia. When I realised that my few days of rest would be taken away from me, my wife can attest, I was little bit of a cranky bear.

I had hopes and they were crushed. I’m sure you’ve had a situation of far greater import when you had hoped events would go a certain way and they didn’t.

In our gospel reading for this week we hear the disciples of Jesus refrain “We had hoped that Jesus would redeem the people.” What they meant was that they were hoping that the Son of God would come to earth, overthrow the rulers of the day and restore God’s justice to the world. They had their hopes crushed.

What they got however was what was really needed. The relationship of humanity with God needed to be restored and that is what Jesus’ death achieved. The mission that he left behind is, with the gift of the Holy Spirit, is to go Father’s business which is, to ensure God’s ministry is carried out – the ministry of love, grace, forgiveness and service.

As it turned out, my 4 days of shovelling mulch turned out to be exactly what I needed. Many hours of simple physical work in God’s beautiful creation allowed a restoration of my soul beyond what I had hoped. Sometimes when our hopes are dashed, we receive a real hope that brings much greater joy. However, it is hard to feel that when you are in the midst of  disappointment, hurt and suffering.

In my role as principal it is core to my work to encourage our community at all times to remember that we are not our mistakes, errors and failures. Schools are in the business of learning and teaching lifelong learning. We believe that things can progress and improve. We believe there is always hope and seek to install this in our students.

As we go into another term, I leave you with a blessing from the Apostle Paul. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Rom 15.13

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