The first Sunday of Advent is one of Hope.
I asked friends to help me and to post – what do you hope for? Some of the responses were:
A new job
Love for one another
Progress on climate talks
Hope for the world, people, the church
World without terror
Knowing God more fully
It occurred to me that our hopes are often passive. They might be considered “raffle ticket” hopes. The neighbor kid comes over and we buy a couple raffle tickets. We look at the list of prizes that we could be given and while it would be nice to win, you set the tickets aside knowing that likely it won’t happen. Seems like we do that with hope. We think about it a bit and then set it aside. It’s more of a dream of good things that could happen than a reality we could make happen.
I stumbled on to the “theology of hope” championed by Jurgen Moltmann of Germany. He was a prisoner-of-war and despite all the difficulties, Jurgen developed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Hope played a large part in that conversion. Moltman believed that “God’s promise to work in the future is more important than what He has done in the past.” That as a Christian you need to be a “hoper” who actively participates in the world in order to speed change. A person who is impatient and dissatisfied with the current status of the world but works to alter it. (Credit to www.gotquestions.org / theology of hope)
So what would it mean to be a hoper? What would it take to move from “raffle ticket” hope to “hoper” hope?
If we hope for kindness, it’s essential that we show kindness to others.
If we hope for a new job, we make the right connections, get training, scour job websites, or learn how to interview.
If we hope for climate change, we decide to live our lives conserving God’s precious resources and advocate for others to do the same.
If we hope for good health, we choose to eat better, exercise, and live healthier lives.
If we hope for compassion, we demonstrate lives of compassion to a broken world.
My hope is for hopers.