THIS long weekend, Christians across the world did what they have been doing for thousands of years — celebrate Easter, the day of Jesus’ resurrection on the third day after his death by crucifixion. According to Christian beliefs, this day, this event, is considered to be the most important on the calendar, owing to the necessity of the resurrection in establishing that Jesus was who he said he was and that the promises made about him were true.

Perhaps more than that, for Christians, Easter is a reminder of the hope that another of Jesus’ promises, that of the resurrection of all believers into eternal life, awaits at the end. This event is the cornerstone on which believers lean. Zambia being a Christian nation, is expected to rest its hope in Jesus Christ, whose promises never failed.

Hope is a powerful thing. Hope is a necessary thing for our survival. Without hope, without us leaning on the promises of a better tomorrow and beyond, we cannot progress as a nation of Christian faith. All that is left is for us to simply not give up, but allow things to happen as they will.

We are in a time in which hope is not always in ready supply. The Coronavirus, as it has ravaged the globe, has left in its wake death, disruption and change. Our country will likely never be the same after this event. What it will look like and how we will live, remain in question.

Uncertainty is the ruling factor in our lives right now. In the biblical stories which tell us of the time between the events immediately leading to the crucifixion on Good Friday and the resurrection on what we now know as Easter Sunday, there is a narrative of confusion, of loss, a story of mourning and fear. But, in the end, there is a restoration of hope. There is always hope.

We have entered a dark and confusing time in our country’s history. It’s not necessarily entirely new, but the way we are responding, the way we are currently living, is entirely different. Our politicians have separated from us. They have divided our society with false love and fake promises. Our people are broken and some are starting to doubt their belief in Christ. They are beginning to question God’s existence, they don’t think they understand their purpose on Earth.

Zambia needs to pray a prayer for our politicians. This prayer must not be an ordinary prayer on an ordinary Sunday. It must be a prayer never prayed before. A prayer of resurrection for our nation. Our Christian leaders must lead us into a prayer to awaken Zambia from the fall of defeat. As we make this prayer, let us forego things — habits, pleasures, sometimes basic comforts — to remind us of our reliance on God. We have cried enough, it is time that we rested our hope in Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Let us look around us. Our normal life as a nation has been interrupted. Many of the things on which we rely in our daily lives have been removed from us, and not voluntarily. The greed of our man-chosen political leaders coupled with the global pandemic has devasted our lives. The reality of our own fragility and mortality is something we’re forced to confront daily. It is a driving factor in our compliance with the recommendations of health officials and government officials.

But there is hope. There is always hope. Just like Jesus’ followers in the dark days between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, we are in a holding pattern, held between what was and what is to come. The other side of all this remains unclear, uncertain. And, so often, our minds dwell in the worst possible version of that future- the version that is antithetical to hope.

But, hope did not die on Good Friday. Hope lived on and does so through to this day and beyond. Hope comes from understanding and knowing that a better day lies ahead, that there is a reason for our sacrifices and suffering, that there is meaning behind all of this.

Until the day when we experience our own resurrection, we share in wishing you will see the fulfilment of the Apostle Paul’s words to the Roman church in Romans 15:13: “‘I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”