Advent means that we – Christians, lay and clergy alike – are going to talk a lot about hope these next few weeks. I have done it and will do it. I have been amazed this past fall at how often the lectionary’s appointed lessons always referenced hope and now there’s more of it. Praise be.
BUT – and I know that the conjunction “but” changes everything that goes before it so I use it purposefully – I would ask you to remember that Advent means doing hope as well as having hope. That is, we are supposed to do what we say/believe, as well as, nurture it in our own souls.
To live in hope is not just to have a feeling or a theological idea, wonderful as feelings and ideas are. To live in hope in the best biblical sense is to do something: to live differently dependent not on ourselves alone but on God at work in us and at work in the world – as God promised to do and did in the coming of Jesus and promises to do again.
The prophet Isaiah who promised that light would rise on us who sit in darkness did not advocate for passive acceptance or even just eagerly waiting for things to get better. Instead, Isaiah asked us to, “ . . .come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” (2:5) That phrase means, “Get up, come on, go to work, work for things to improve; walk with the hurting until things are better for them. Do God’s work.”
The promise of light rising upon us is beautiful; look for the Light’s coming.
The promise of hope dawning on those who sit in darkness is assuring; praise God for the peace.
God’s call for us is to live and now to act in hope, in hope for the world where God has come and is coming. And to act in the Spirit of the One who is to come. So, I invite us to all go be the Church.
Walking and working in hope,
If you would like to print or share this edition of Hello from Harvey,
you are encouraged to use this pdf:
HELLO FROM HARVEY – What it Means to Me to WAIT FOR HOPE
If you would like to view past editions of Hello from Harvey, follow this link: https://capitaldistrictnc.org/category/from-the-ds/