Join us for service at:
Meadowbrook Country Club
2149 N. Green Bay Road
Racine, WI 53405

Sunday Service at 9:30 a.m.
in-person at Meadowbrook,
or via Zoom!

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Hope & Joy

Hope… we honestly can’t live without it. Hope is not wishful thinking or fantasy. It is a sincere belief that something good can happen or that things truly can change for the better. Without hope, people lose their will to live.

Joy is something we shouldn’t live without either. I’m not talking about a laugh-out-loud joy (although I sincerely believe that a good sense of humor and easy laugh are essential in surviving the craziness of the world). The joy I’m talking about is an inside state of soul and mind that (to me) feels like a combination of contentment, faith, gratitude and hope.

I’ve tried to figure out which one comes first, hope or joy. It feels like a chicken-and-the-egg thing. They seem wrapped up in each other. Having a deep inner sense of joy makes it easier to have hope, and having hope makes it easier to feel joy.

This time of year always feels ripe with hope. Perhaps it is the lights adorning homes on these cold winter nights. Or, perhaps it is the giving nature of the season. Maybe being inundated with Chrismas songs and messages that say Peace, Hope, Joy and Love are having their desired affect and lifting our spirits.

I also believe that our traditions fill us  with hope by connecting us with those we’ve loved and lost. Traditions link the generations. When I see my adult children participating in traditions like cookie making and the Christmas Eve service, I have hope that through things like this they will someday remember me at this time of year long after I’m gone. I have hope that life and love will continue and that I will in some way be a part of that, just as my grandparents are a part of me.What traditions do you celebrate that give you hope and connect you to others past and present?

So, when hope is in short supply consider this: we get hope by giving hope. We get joy by giving joy. When you're feeling down, reach out beyond yourself. Visit someone who might be lonely, Be kind and grateful to people when you're out shopping. Surprise someone with a small gift of a card. 

Let me share one more thing with you:

Last weekend my high school friend Karen, and her husband, Justin, stayed with us. We were telling them about the Talent Auction and she surprised me by looking at me sort of wistfully and saying, “Wow. We don’t have a community like that. It sounds really nice.” You could say they are occasional church goers, but they’ve been very involved in their community theater, Karen is on their board. So, I asked about that “community.” She said the Board is more business, and the theater group isn’t really the same.

Sometimes we forget what we have right in front of us, we take the best things for granted. When we need hope, this community will hold hope for you. When you need joy, this community will hold joy for you. And when you need faith, this community will hold faith for you until you can find it again.

In the words of Romans 15:13, "May the God of hope fill you with such peace and joy in your faith, that you may be filled with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Love & Light!