What a challenge to be in a time when the Christian specially focuses on the importance of hope. With our sense of trust in the world’s safety and well-being eroding and our news filled with acts of violence and injustice, it is a stretch to feel hopeful. Yet, here we are in a moment only God could create.
As is so often the way, God would see no better time for us to practice hope then in one such as this. Advent brings people together to remember that God came among us and remains. People leave the sounds of confusion and danger and enter a sacred space filled with the spirit of anticipation and wonder. Words spoken and sung remind us that these are exactly the times when we are strengthened to live hopefully.
We hear of a prophet by a river’s edge, wild in dress and habit, calling for people to repent. His words are laced with hope. It was time to prepare for what is to come, who is to come. To be hopeful takes work, he explains, one must repent and be cleansed. This type of cleansing reaches deep with our souls removing the dirt of wrongdoing and the stains of a broken world.
Today’s world is filled with injustice and fear. Just yesterday there was another school shooting. In Portland Oregon shots rang out in a high school injuring at least three young people. It is difficult to look ahead with hope. And yet it is what we are here to do, it is what we must do. Bp. Tom Shaw, a wise and holy man, once said – ‘we are what God has to do good in this world’. So we cleanse the stains of this broken world from ourselves and turn to wash those wounded from the same.
Here we are in a moment only God could create. Living in hope when all seems lost.