Reflections 8 Dec 2002
2nd Sunday of Advent
The Injection of Hope
Another profound offering of the Christmas story is that it provides an injection of hope into our lives and world.
People have stories of the most remarkable challenge and suffering in which they have risen to survive and flourish. Victor Frankl has written of this in the human spirit amidst the terrors of World War II concentration camps. We see it too in the sacred writings of the people of God in passages like today's Isaiah one [Chapter 40: 1-11 ... you might like to read it now]. In fact, it almost seems that the more drastic the human circumstance, the more evident the ability of people to exhibit hope. From where does humankind gets its capacity to see life as other than it is: in other words, to hope?
Hope allows us to re-imagine, to re-figure our lives and the world. Hope provides a re-interpretation of what we know now. And, of course, as we hope, we become; we move our lives in the direction of our hope.
The message and celebration of God come in the baby laid at Bethlehem's door is a huge fillip to our hope. As we embrace this story in faith it gives reason to hope. God has been known in human form and God therefore knows us.
This hope, so integral to human existence, is a gift from God. We hope - even against what life would otherwise be telling us - because God has crafted that into us. As the Psalmist says, "we are fearfully and wonderfully made". And that means not just as physical beings, but as emotional and spiritual reflections of God as well. We are 'wired' to hope.
- For what are you hoping?
- What inhibits your hoping?
- This Christmas, can you find a place of trust in God that lifts your hope?