Christ is risen!!!  He is risen, indeed!  Halleluiah! 
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. -1 Peter 1:3a
I spoke to a friend this week whose family is going through a very difficult time. While we visited, she told me they have a set of ornate butter knives in the kitchen. Each of the four knives is stamped with a unique word--Faith, Joy, Hope, and Love. Time and use have slowly taken its toll on the knives. Like soldiers in a battlefield, each valiantly fought but eventually succumbed to its culinary injuries. One broke, then another, and then another. There is now one lone survivor.  
My friend’s daughter came to her, recently, holding that one knife and said, “Well, Mom, at least we still have Hope.” Good words! 
We live in a broken world that is longing for hope. Hope offers a taste of the unknown, an appetizer of the feast to come. Our environment, our finances, and our trials may have not changed at all since last Friday, and maybe they have even been more challenging. Can I encourage you today that CHRIST IS RISEN, anyway! Despite our struggles-CHRIST IS RISEN! Despite the terrorism attacks on Easter Sunday-CHRIST IS RISEN! Despite financial struggles, health struggles, and marital troubles–CHRIST IS RISEN!  
The Apostle Peter reminds us that we are, “born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Death is dead, but hope is alive in our Risen King.  
Today, you may feel like your life is slowly succumbing to injuries, too. Listen to a wise young lady. “We still have hope.”  
Christ is risen, indeed!  
See you Sunday. I can’t wait!