Gown of glory, hope’s true gage.
In his letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul writes, “…..Christ in you the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27 NIV) and in his letter to the Ephesians we read, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1: -19 NIV) This is the hope that Raleigh refers to here and later on in the poem he writes about, “peaceful pilgrims I shall see, that have shook off their gowns of clay and go apparelled fresh like me.”
The words hope and wish are often used interchangeably in our culture and yet the writer to the Hebrews clearly tells us that, “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV). Yet there are times in our journey of faith when situations and circumstances threaten to overwhelm us, and our faith can be shaken. At such times doubts and questions can arise, but these seasons can bring us to a new level of understanding in our faith.
Reflect back over your journey and recall times when this has been your experience and remember how you managed to travel through this time. Think of the circumstances, think of the questions/doubts/fears and recall who/what helped you at this time.
Now take a few minutes to ponder on Colossians 1:27. You may like to silently say, “Christ in me” as you breathe in, and “the hope of glory” as you breathe out.
Finally, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NIV)