“We Choose to Believe in a Happy Ending”

“It’s one of the American qualities that we absorbed — be optimistic, believe in happy endings, and that’s where we stand right now. But I’m not stupid. I understand what’s involved. But that’s what I choose to believe.” Ella Gershkovich

The parents of Evan Gershkovich – Ella and Mikhail – were interviewed last week about their son Evan’s arrest in Russia, accused of espionage. As I’ve previously shared, Evan is a friend our of TBC and we pray he will be set free soon along with Paul Whelan and all others falsely charged. Evan Gershkovich is a journalist for The Wall Street Journal covering the war in Ukraine.

Perhaps it is an American characteristic to be optimistic. We are the homeland of Disney movies and Jason Bourne, after all. We believe that:

  • Things will turn out in the end,
  • If you work hard enough, you will be successful,
  • Anyone can be President.

So . . . the truth is that not everything works out in the end unless we are talking in cosmic/eternal terms, and most of us don’t know precisely what the cosmos/eternity will bring. Trust in the future and karma and heaven are all matters of faith. The truth is that many impoverished people work very hard and never reach the middle class. And while we live in a nation where both a reality TV personality and someone whose middle name is Hussein could be elected President in the same decade, not everybody can be President.

We choose to believe what we believe. And while I believe that these times are cataclysmic for our culture, I choose to believe that we will come out better on the other side. Ultimately.

Someone said to me recently, “This is a rough time for the Church.” And I agree. And I also believe that these changes are essential if we are going to become the Church as God intends it to be.

Easter morning felt especially secular this year. After church, HH and I went out to brunch and there was zero indication that it was Easter morning. No “Happy Easter” from the host. Nobody was dressed up. There were no “Easter Specials” on the menu. For the first time in my life, I’m not sure most of my neighbors knew – or cared – that it was Easter morning. And I live in the Bible Belt.

I hear of congregations doing extraordinary ministry. I see pastoral leaders offer profound sermons and pastoral care. And I also hear – over and over again – “where are the people?” “Will our members ever come back to Church?

Maybe we are waiting for the wrong people. Believe me, there are people craving hope out there. There are people who wonder if anyone sees them, loves them, cares about them. They are God’s people. We are God’s people. But we in the Church have some work to do.

I believe that Jesus will always have a Church even if most of us church people miss the point. I believe in happy endings. I believe that the blind will receive their sight, the lame will walk, lepers will be cleansed, the deaf will hear, the dead will be raised up, and the poor will hear good news. I believe in the hope of Easter.

Image of Evan Gershkovich. Please pray for him today.

One response to ““We Choose to Believe in a Happy Ending”

  1. This is powerful. I’ve subscribed!


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