AS THE World Cup drew to a close there was one word which resonated with the millions of England fans – disappointment.
Disappointment for the thousands of fans who travelled halfway around the globe to support their team – which they had done with great enthusiasm, hoping to see something very different.
Disappointment for the millions who watched the struggles of England’s cricket team, or watched Andy Murray losing at Wimbledon.
‘We had hoped’ were the words two of Jesus’ disciples spoke as they walked along a lonely road from Jerusalem to Emmaus on Easter Day.
Their hopes, too, had been disappointed. They had seen someone they thought was going to be a great leader die an agonising and humiliating death.
He was someone who had an enormous effect on their lives, someone they had come to love very dearly, believed in and rely on. Their hopes dashed. It was a crushing disappointment.
But they came to realise the one they had seen die on the cross was alive. That it wasn’t all over. That Jesus was walking by their side.
And he promised that was where he would always be, giving hope, giving comfort, giving them his love.
Disappointment. It may be that you have said to a child, to a friend, to a partner: “I’m disappointed in you. I had hoped for something better.”
You feel let down, hurt. And yet somehow you get over it and start again – because the one who has let you down is someone you love.
And the power of love is infinitely stronger than disappointment. Time and again, when we stray from the way he wants us to live, God must feel disappointed.
But he always forgives because he loves. He loves us more than we can begin to imagine.
So we, too, have hope. And we have the courage to start again, to learn from mistakes, to pick ourselves up and to carry on.
The two disciples of Jesus who walked along that lonely road on Easter Day knew he would always be by their side. And that is his promise to us. He gives us the courage to face up to our failures, to know that he will never abandon us.
He gives us the strength, when we are disappointed in the way other people have treated us, like him to forgive, to continue to walk by their side.