Our Hope is Eternal

       You have probably heard by now of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris catching fire and burning yesterday afternoon. I was watching live news footage when the famed spire, charred and burning, fell. It was hard to see such a beautiful place fall apart as the fire continued to grow. Many reports mention devastated crowds of people gathered nearby, weeping, praying, and singing hymns. Some say that Paris will never fully recover; some claim they personally will never recover. One went as far as saying Easter was ruined.      
     While I am sad to see such a beautiful building damaged, and think of the history held within those walls, I was not devastated. I have never visited Paris, I don’t live there, so maybe I don’t fully understand the symbol of hope that the cathedral brings to the Parisian people. To put it into perspective for me, I thought, “If HFC were to burn down this afternoon, would I be devastated? Would our community never recover? Would I swear to grieve the loss for the rest of my life?” I literally grew up in this building, and have a personal history and many fond memories of HFC. My answer was instantly, yes, I would be sad or upset, but I would not be devastated. You see, HFC is not really a place, it’s a people. When you ask a member why they love it here, the answer is usually something about the warm welcome, the friendly people, and the friends who have become family. All of that would still be alive with or without this building. This is the culture of HFC: Connect, Commit, Learn, Influence. Relationships would still be developed without this building. Worship would continue on without this building. Growth would continue without this building. Discipleship would continue without this building. Our church exists outside these walls, because our people exist outside these walls!        
      I am so excited that our hope is not in a building, but in an eternal God who offers us grace, mercy, and forgiveness. And with or without a building, that hope is alive. This Easter week, let’s strive to find ways to bring that hope into a lost and dying world. Bring it into your world: your office, your school, your neighborhood. Invite others to come with you to Journey to the Cross on Good Friday. Invite them to a casual, fun picnic and egg hunt at Bane Park on Saturday! Invite them to join us in worship Sunday morning. Invite them to experience the hope our God gives through forgiveness! Our hope is eternal, because our God is eternal.  
Many Blessings,
Pastor Sarah