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ahopeFor so many people I have encountered in so many places recently, life seems to be a continual walk in the dark. For Christians who are following the path of Lent, walking with Jesus ever closer to the events of what we call Holy Week, the heaviness of these days can be an opportunity even as we find our energy sapped by news of a world in deep turmoil. Another school shooting yesterday, panic in Austin, Texas over serial bomb explosions, wildly destructive coastal storms and personal tragedies or disappointments leave us wondering when and how it will all end. Will Easter bring us solace and the promise of new life?

Today it is a prayer from John Philip Newell’s book, Celtic Treasure, that calls me to consciousness. May it be a reminder and an encouragement for us to “stay the course” in hope, clinging to the transformative power of faith and love.

You are within and among us, O Christ, as the one who is alive for ever. In the sorrows and sufferings of our lives you are with us as the one who holds the keys of new beginnings. There is no ending in the world, there is no fear in our lives, there is no despair in our hearts, that your living presence cannot unlock. You are within and among us, O Christ, as the one who is alive for ever. (p. 214)