Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

FROM THE PULPIT: Faith in Jesus gives hope

In 1995 Joseph Girzone wrote a wonderful book, "Joshua: A Parable for Today." It is a novel about Jesus (going by the name Joshua) returning today in a small, but diverse town.

I loved that book. In fact I read it several times.

Then, in 2002 the movie version, "Joshua," hit the theaters. Joshua was played by Tony Goldwyn. Stacey Edwards played Maggie. And as you may surmise by her name, Maggie was a modern equivalent of Mary Magdalene.

As often happens when books are turned into movies, a few licenses were taken with some scenes, but the plot remained untouched.

Spoiler alert!

One scene in the movie but not in the book was a conversation between Joshua and Maggie toward the end of the movie. Maggie was angry and upset that her life was in total shambles. She was angry that Joshua, with whom she had become quite fond, was leaving town.

In a fit of anger, she threw down a beautiful glass object she had been holding. It smashed into a hundred small splinters. She then stormed away from Joshua, tears flowing down her face.

As the movie draws to a close, Maggie talks with a local pastor, saying she was leaving town to start her life over again. He tells Maggie that Joshua left her a gift. He then held out a beautiful glass sculpture, obviously made from the hundreds of glass shards created when she threw it down during her confrontation with Joshua.

For most of us, the message was quite clear. When life becomes shattered, Jesus can pick up the pieces and create something beautiful for us and of us.

Quite often when bad things happen to good people, there are many questions: Why me? What now? How could this happen to me?

Despair can settle in as people tend to look toward what may be a bleak future.

And that is exactly what people without hope will see – a bleak future without any prospect of matters getting better. That is a horrible place to be.

Yet the assurance of being healed, even though the results may be different, is what comes from having faith in Jesus Christ. Realizing he is with you, has your best interest at heart, and wants you to know the joy of life creates hope and anticipation.

Jesus can take the broken pieces and shape and mold them into something beautiful – different, to be sure, but just as beautiful.

Romans 5:3–5, New Living Translation, states, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

"And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” 

Mark Broadhead

The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.

This article originally appeared on Crestview News Bulletin: FROM THE PULPIT: Faith in Jesus gives hope