I read a depressing article online the other day. According to data on crime, housing, unemployment, etc., the city of Keokuk is supposedly the worst place in Iowa to live. Southeast Iowa, in general, didn’t fare too well in the rankings.
I suspect if you’re one of the many who are struggling right now, you might be inclined to agree. And I’m not going to argue with the numbers. What I do want to do is hold out hope – because if there’s one thing we learn from scripture it’s that God does his best work in the worst situations.
Never forget that Jesus came from a place called Nazareth in Galilee. Poor old Galilee was a lot like Southeast Iowa. When the disciple Nathanael first heard where Jesus was from, he said, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
One of the things I love about the Easter story is that the Risen Jesus tells his disciples to go back to Nazareth – “for there you will see me.” It is precisely in places where people struggle that God’s life and light shines the most brightly. And there are signs of life all around us! Come and join us this Easter weekend as we lift up the cry, “He is risen! He is risen, indeed!”