This is what HOPE looks like

Tonight, hope looked like Christ Fellowship’s City Place campus, the Ascent, packed to the rafters with people worshiping. To hymns. Absolutely astounding. Our musicians spent this week learning songs they’d never played before, just to increase the breadth of our musical worship. It was an amazing night.

I can’t explain why this evening touched me so. But as I looked around tonight, I saw people of all generations bonded together in singing songs that brought me back to my childhood. “How marvelous, how wonderful and my song shall ever be…” I could hear my dad’s voice singing next to me in Sunday night church — where that song counted as a contemporary number. My dad didn’t really sing much; he rumbled. His big, barrel-chested 6’4″ body would rumble its way through some version of a bass line: security, singing next to me while I grew. I couldn’t stop the tears tonight, thinking about Dad. They were good tears. What a great memory!

And then there are the musicians themselves, leading us. This ministry of singing and playing…it transports people from a place of fear that the financial markets, political markets, any markets might fail. It moves us from where we are to where we need to be. Can hope be far behind if quality people like our worship bands can create an oasis of life in the middle of uncertainty? And just think…those songs have been sung through ups and downs, crashes of one sort or another. “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh what a foretaste of glory divine.” The message is timeless. Our hope isn’t in an election, or our bank accounts. It’s in Him, and all that exists in Him. It’s in each other, and the community of grace we live in together.

They’re just hymns, just old songs that have fallen out of favor. But they may become hip again, because there’s something special about traditions that tie generations together in the ultimate source of hope. Just hymns. But it was a night that soothed my soul and brought back memories that are precious. Just hymns, but sung by the kids who are the future I’m praying over. Just hymns, but so much more.

By Marla Saunders

I am passionately devoted to living my life in the places God has given me. Over the years those places have changed: from homeschooler to businesswoman, from consumer to storyteller. These days I'm focusing on building a new business and figuring out what it means to do everything with integrity and informed by faith.