Jeremiah, a prophet of lament and whining, talked directly to us about how discomfort and hope often go together. Out of his own experience, we learn that adversity, failure, even humiliation are the raw material of our spiritual strength from which springs … HOPE! Failure can test our character, our relationships, and our faith, and then find us emerging stronger.
Hope does not depend on everything going well. Sometimes hope springs from bad times, danger or even utter silence. This is a season of change and promise. Our gospel reading from Luke spoke of growth, of new sprouting things, and a hope always points toward the future, not the past, or even the present. No matter what happens, we have a journey together into the future. Be watchful for God in our midst, even when days are bleak. As Bishop Desmond Tutu said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
My messages for Advent invite us into relationship with some new characters from scripture – and not the familiar ones of the Christmas story. This coming Sunday, we will meet Baruch, and hear what he has to teach us about peace.
Move through these days with anticipation, and hope ….