Hope Against All Hope - First Sunday of Advent

Written by: Cathie Ostapchuk

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Hope against all Hope.

When we light the candle of Hope this first Sunday of Advent, we do it sincerely, with all the Hope we can muster that the complicated world will somehow straighten itself out and all will be well. We whisper a prayer of Hope that we would be able to neatly wrap our lives and our hopes for the people we love all up in a pretty bow, much like the presents under the tree.

We hold with all our might to the kind of Hope that barely believes there is the merest possibility that what we want and what we need to change could actually come about.

I doubt this is the variety of Hope that Romans 4:18 refers to when describing the hope that Abraham had:  ”Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping – believing…”

Abraham’s was an all or nothing Hope, a Hope against all Hope that had nothing to do with a mere possibility but an unchangeable, immutable Promise.

There is a big difference between my pipe dream and the Promised Land.  In fact, the Promised One is the only person who could multiply my small, fearful Hope that I will hopefully make it another day into a life-changing anchor.   All of a sudden the Promised One makes the impossible, possible.  My small and trepid Hope is actually transformed into a big, bold, belief that He is who He says He is, He will redeem and restore all of Creation and His Created, He will come again, and I will dance and sing an everlasting love song with the God of the universe.

Jeremiah 33:14-16:

“The days are coming, ’declares the LORD, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah. In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; He will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety.  This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Saviour.’”

This is what we Hope for, against all Hope, now and forever.  He has already come, Emmanuel, God with us, and He is coming again.  We hold a Hope seed in us, not of a doubtful, fearful wondering, but of a real and courageous belief that all will be well.  Hope against all Hope.  Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Holy One
May your hope
Encircle me
May your hope
Grow within me
May your hope
Reach beyond me
AMEN