Prisoner to Hope

Kenny Foster

July 5, 2020


Text: Zechariah 9:9-12 & Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 Our lectionary reading for this week comes from the familiar Triumphal Entry text in Zechariah and the famous passage of Jesus’ offer of rest in Matthew 11. Zechariah poetically calls the exiles “prisoners of hope.” Zechariah is among the genre of apocalyptic literature in the Bible. This means that the symbols in the book are there to convey a message. The message is what’s important, the symbols are not as important as the message they convey. So the image of being prisoners of hope is a powerful one for those who are feeling hopeless in their present situation. Being “prisoners of hope” is an apt way of describing our daily existence during this pandemic and the societal unrest our nation is experiencing right now. Because while we are sheltered away and feeling like we are under siege, it is good to know that we have the hope of our coming King who keeps his covenant. Therefore we can return to our stronghold, which is our faith in the covenant keeping King, as hope’s prisoners. Jesus is the covenant keeping King who came the first time and offered the promise of rest. But he is coming again and this time he will restore everything and the rest will be eternal. Imprisoned in this hope, the Christian’s soul, during a pandemic and societal/cultural upheaval, should be on lockdown.