Hope at st Johns Presbyterian ChurchFriend of Geneva, I have a confession to make. Are you ready for this? I am an in-curable hoper and I want you to follow suit. I have a bias that no problem on earth is ever truly insoluble; problems are opportunities filled with possibilities. I do everything in my power to solve problems rather than create them. And I firmly believe that hope is our sustaining friend. It keeps us going through the good times and the restless nights
of our souls.

To be sure, you will be sorely tempted to despair at times. Some of you listening to/reading this message are terminally ill, some of you are lonely and depressed, some of you are learning how to live with physical and emotional pain. I advise you: ward off cynicism and cultivate hopefulness. It is a choice you will be called to make daily. The cynic says, “Blessed are they who believe in nothing, for they shall not be disappointed”. The hopeful person says, “Despite all of life’s ills, pains and problems, it is still a beautiful world.” Such an attitude will make all the difference in your world. For the hoper, unlike the wishful thinker, is willing to work his or her head off that it might just come to be. We live as we hope. Good friends Kathy and Harry Dodge reminded me that Emily Dickinson wrote, “Hope is a thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.”

Let us pray: Loving God, it’s morning again…another day knocks. The tide of light rises, slides down the walls, across the ceiling, into my eyes, purging the darkness, slowly smoothing the crinkles of sleep. A particle of light has pierced our heart reminding us to begin again, to get up and go. You promise to bless us so we may be a blessing to others. You give us contagious enthusiasm, so we can go on limping, hoping on every step a testament of gratitude. We scratch the ears of dogs, laugh at the ballet of cats and Pelicans, and dolphins. Help us this day to hear the cry and gurgle of the newborn, to learn from hundreds of teachers, some of them homeless, poor, and uneducated. Awaken us to the beauty of the mockingbirds, the Milky Way. For You alone, O Lord, are our hope. You alone are our safety, our strength. May we – even with our fears and
anxieties, our insecurities and uncertainties – trust, totally trust in your loving care and plan for our lives. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Roger KunkelDaily Message Author: Roger Kunkel

(November 24, 1934 – June 29, 2011) Rev. Dr. Roger Kunkel was a native of Parsons, Kansas, graduated from Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, where he received an award for “Outstanding Student and Citizen”. After graduating from Princeton Theological Seminary, he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois, and went on to serve as Senior Pastor in Duluth, Minnesota, and Riverside, Illinois. He served as Chaplain of Heritage Park Rehab Center in Bradenton, Florida, after retiring from his pastorate at First Presbyterian Church of Sarasota in 1998. Full Bio