Holy Week with Holding Onto Hope - Holy Saturday

Holy Week with Holding Onto Hope - Holy Saturday

For Holy Week 2024 we have selected reflections and artwork from Holding Onto Hope by father and daughter duo, Amy Boucher-Pye and Leo Boucher. 

Holding Onto Hope is a 40-day journey exploring the themes of hope and new life through vivid biblical images and can be used through Lent or during any 40-day period.

Waiting for the harvest

Growing up on a farm in Minnesota in the 1930s, one of nine children, Lulu knew hardship. She and her family had no electricity, indoor plumbing or conveniences such as a washing machine. In addition to their schoolwork, the kids had to do a host of chores each day, such as milking the cows. During the summer and early autumn, they’d pick and peel apples and plums, and they’d help their mother with canning peas, corn, green beans and tomatoes and with making jams and pickles.

The extra time to play in summer, along with the warm weather, boosted Lulu’s morale. The winters made her sad, amplified by having to endure the freezing temperatures in the outhouse or watching her parents monitor their food supplies carefully. Lulu waited day by day for winter to be over, for the snow to melt and for warmth to return.

Lulu’s reliance on God, and her grit and determination, helped build her resilience, which she leaned on later in life, when she found herself in a demanding marriage and shared business ventures. Her long winters of waiting for spring grounded her hope that God would pull her through the challenges she faced. Lulu’s example reminds me of the admonition of James to the scattered church: ‘Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains’ (James 5:7). Farmers work and wait, trusting that the crops will yield their bounty. They can’t control when and if the rains will come, but they can hope, pray and trust in God.

We can do just the same. Waiting might feel like empty work, and when nothing seems to be happening, we can be tempted to lose confidence in God. When the ground seems frozen and impenetrable, we might feel weak and discouraged. We may have to wait and pray and hope much longer than we had ever dreamed before arriving at an answer. But God won’t fail us. He’s the One who can make the rains fall from heaven, softening the hardened soil and making it ready to receive the seeds. He will give us the strength to wait in hope for him.

God of the ripening crops, soften the soil of my heart, that I might
receive your new growth and life. Help me to wait and hope when
all seems impossible. I affirm that your word never fails, and
I know that you love me. Amen.

Holding Onto Hope £12.99

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