-Rev Melissa Fain-
14 The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill my gracious promise with the people of Israel and Judah. 15 In those days and at that time, I will raise up a righteous branch from David’s line, who will do what is just and right in the land. 16 In those days, Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is what he will be called: The Lord Is Our Righteousness.
Jeremiah 33:14-16 CEB
Right after having my first child I could be caught saying, "Choosing to be a parent is one of the most selfish decisions a person could make, and choosing to raise the child is one of the most selfless."
I still stand by that statement. You simply cannot wrap your mind around what it means to be a parent until you are neck deep in dirty diapers, baby in one arm, cold bottle in another, while you attempt to find the bottle warmer. Maybe not that exact same scenario, but you get the point. Almost all parents will tell you they had no idea what they were getting into. People can explain it to you all day long, but until you are in those trenches, you can't possibly know.
Hope is like your first unborn child. It's all potential. That child could be anything. You, as a parent could rock it or blow it all up. An entire life put into your hands whether you are ready or not. (Hint for those who are not parents, no one is truly ready.)
We don't hope for things we have solid answers to. Hope is similar to another word: Anticipation. We perceive the possibility for how things could be. Our imagination roots itself in our hope, and sets the sights on where we are going. Leading without hope, whether it's your child or a church, is a dangerous journey into darkness. We must hope, for hope sets our sights on the best possible outcome. We hope our child or church will grow up to be healthy and productive. If we do not hope, then when our child or church fails we don't attempt to course correct to put things on the correct path again.
We hope for Christmas, because hope shows us the path to peace. Peace brings us those moments of joy where hope is fulfilled. A joyful fulfillment of hope, takes us to love. Love is something we can't understand until we are weeping over lost opportunities, and rejoicing over expectations being exceeded. Hope must happen first before we can ever understand true love.
Let us pray:
God of all that is seen and unseen,
Let us hope with with excited anticipation!