Holy Week with Holding Onto Hope - Tuesday

Holy Week with Holding Onto Hope - Tuesday

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.

Blossoming like the vine

Some years ago during Lent, when I was examining my heart before God, the image of a friend popped into my mind. I hadn’t thought of her in years, but in that moment I felt convicted by how thoughtless and hurtful I’d been in my treatment of her. Hunting down her address, I wrote to her, expressing my sadness over my actions and asking her to forgive me. I didn’t expect her to respond, or for us to renew our friendship, but without hesitation she forgave me. Hearing from her again felt wonderfully healing.

Forgiveness is rooted in God's mercy, and he enables us to extend this gracious offering to others. When we receive such a wonderful gift, we’re no longer weighed down by our sins.

In this, I’m reminded of the last chapter of the prophet Hosea. Reading the book can feel gruelling, as Hosea endures betrayal, hurt and unfaithfulness – just as the Lord experienced with his people. When we finally reach the end of the book, however, we come to the wonderful images of God’s people receiving his forgiveness: ‘I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots; his young shoots will grow. His splendour will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon. People will dwell again in his shade; they will flourish like the corn, they will blossom like the vine’ (Hosea 14:5–7).

After God’s people repent, God promises to plant them deeply so that they can thrive and grow like a vine. With this imagery, he conveys freshness and vitality for his forgiven people. He promises that they will find security and longevity through the image of the cedar trees; as symbolised in the flourishing corn, he will give them new life.

Self-examination before God can lead us to repentance and to freedom from those sins that may burden us more than we realise. As we ask God to reveal to us any hidden or visible wrongdoing, he will graciously answer our prayers – and give us the strength to take the next step. When we are freed from the weight of these offences, we may exercise our creativity and gifts in ways that previously we might not have dreamed possible.

God of the flourishing vine, convict me of the sins I’ve long
forgotten, that I might seek forgiveness for them. Help me to grow
in all the ways that bring you pleasure. I know that you want
what’s best for me, and that you’ll help me to move closer to you.
Make me blossom like the lilies. Amen.

Holding Onto Hope £12.99

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