SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 6:19 (NIV)
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
From Parade magazine comes the story of self-made millionaire Eugene Land, who greatly changed the lives of a sixth-grade class in East Harlem. Mr. Lang had been asked to speak to a class of 59 sixth-graders. What could he say to inspire these students, most of whom would drop out of school? He wondered how he could get these predominantly black and Puerto Rican children even to look at him. Scrapping his notes, he decided to speak to them from his heart. "Stay in school," he admonished, "and I'll help pay the college tuition for every one of you." At that moment the lives of these students changed. For the first time they had hope. Said one student, "I had something to look forward to, something waiting for me. It was a golden feeling." Nearly 90 percent of that class went on to graduate from high school.
Anchors come in various ways into our lives. For 59 sixth-graders it came with a promise. Yesterday, Easter Sunday, we were reminded that for humanity … all human beings … it comes in a risen Savior.
Now comes the real challenge. Will it continue to hold? For 90 percent of that class it held. That meant that 6 students didn’t trust the anchor, didn’t want to pay the price, they set other priorities. We celebrate the 90 percent while ignoring the 10 percent who went a different direction. We are thankful for Mr. Lang’s support of these students, but who was there for the 10 percent?
It’s Monday morning after Easter and Jesus still holds! 10,000 Mondays later he still will be holding fast. He is the anchor for our soul. He is the hope for the world. He will still be holding as some of us succeed and he will still be holding as some of us fail. This anchor holds regardless of the intensity of the storm.
We came. We celebrated. We eat the ears off the rabbit. Eggs were hidden and found. Hats were worn. New clothes attired our bodies. Ham and sweet potatoes were spread before us and we had our fill. For a moment we forgot the pain of living in world filled with pain. Now Monday has arrived and the storms will start raging again.
William C. Martin (no relationship) pens these words in his hymn, “My Anchor Holds” …
Though the angry surges roll
On my tempest-driven soul,
I am peaceful, for I know,
Wildly though the winds may blow,
I’ve an anchor safe and sure,
That can evermore endure.
And it holds, my anchor holds:
Blow your wildest, then, O gale,
On my bark so small and frail;
By His grace I shall not fail,
For my anchor holds, my anchor holds.
Mighty tides about me sweep,
Perils lurk within the deep,
Angry clouds o’ershade the sky,
And the tempest rises high;
Still I stand the tempest’s shock,
For my anchor grips the rock.
I can feel the anchor fast
As I meet each sudden blast,
And the cable, though unseen,
Bears the heavy strain between;
Through the storm I safely ride,
Till the turning of the tide.
Troubles almost ’whelm the soul;
Griefs like billows o’er me roll;
Tempters seek to lure astray;
Storms obscure the light of day:
But in Christ I can be bold,
I’ve an anchor that shall hold.
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name … Thank you Jesus for being our anchor in the midst of the storm. Thank you for holding fast. Amen.