Our devotion begins by listening to Andrea Bocelli’s concert, Music for Hope
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us
~ Romans 5: 1-5
He has been one of my favourite singers for a long time, his voice exquisite. Andrea Bocelli in his live-streamed concert “Music for Hope” from Milan’s Duomo cathedral on Easter Sunday, yesterday, offered something even more: a glimpse of the divine. The quality of his voice touches a place deep in my soul, always. But this was just extraordinary. Musical selections were chosen and offered as prayer petitions to God and to Mary, the Mother of our Lord, Jesus. This concert of Music for Hope was sung with even greater conviction, urgency even, and a sense of pleading, for us, for the world. Bocelli’s voice, the musical selections sung as prayers, and then the images of vacant major European cities bring home a stark reality of what is happening around the world. The stark and humbling reality is that we are still learning about Covid-19. We are still learning how it spreads, and we do not yet have a vaccine. We need hope. We need the kind of Easter hope that Andrea Bocelli sang for us yesterday.
Beyond just an offering of music for hope, Bocelli is singing hope. Singing hope into a world gripped by an unknown virus, and into a time of great loss and sorrow. Singing hope in a time when we are responding as best we can with what we know, which isn’t very much. He is singing with the faith that our God who created us, loves us, redeems us, and will see us through this time, to offer us a new birth and a new hope.
And hope does not disappoint us, as Paul reflects in Romans. It does not disappoint us. It cannot. Because it is God’s gift to us in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because whether we pray, whether we sing, whether we laugh or cry. That hope and love of God that has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit is always with us. No matter what.
God of hope. Dry our tears. Remind us that our hope is in You. We thank you for voices who sing hope into our fear, into places of desperation and death, who sing hope when we struggle and don’t know when this time of Covid-19 will end. Sing that hope in us, O God, when it is lost, for we ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.