Where does hope belong?
It’s an odd question, I know. But, whether we consciously ask it or not, it’s a question screaming to be answered. Most of us spend our entire lives organizing, structuring, assigning, keeping everyone and everything thing where they belong. Are you a Republican or a Democrat? Conservative or Progressive? Do you like country or rap? Playing video games or hiking? Is the person you just met greedy or generous? Kind or uncaring? Does your coworker share your plan or steal your plan? Does he love you, or does he not even know you exist?
Then, data gathered, we assign everyone and everything to its place in our lives. Friend. Enemy. Facebook friend. Rival. Lover. Person to be used for now, cast off later. Brother or sister to live life with. A place for everything, everything in its place.
So where does hope belong? I ask, because I suspect most of us think hope belongs in the cotton candy, wispy cloud, ethereal world of wishful thinking. We chain hope to the future, stripping its power by assigning hope to a box marked: nameless, faceless, future day.
And yet, when liberated from its chains, hope breaths life into our present, pours healing over our suffering, infuses power into our paralysis.
“Hope is the thing that turns the heart upside-down in the middle of grief. Hope is the embers burning after the fire has gone out.” –Dale Fincher, Opening the Stable Door
Advent hope springs from the memory of God in the manger, and longs for God’s throne on earth.
Advent hope reaches behind us and points us forward, but belongs to neither the past nor the future.
Hope belongs to today.