Advent 2Yr A (Hope)
Two quotes, to set the theme of Hope from the Epistle reading today:
‘Hope is not pretending that troubles don’t exist. It is the hope that they won’t last forever; that hurt will be healed and difficulties overcome. That we will be led out of the darkness and into the sunshine.’
And the second quote; ‘keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.’
God, through a series of covenants promised the unimaginable to His Chosen People. Above all else Hope inspires beauty; I have not met one person who does not stand in awe at the great cathedrals of Europe. We build them because of Hope. We transcend ourselves by allowing our imaginations to give birth and life to such splendour. It is always out of disaster that new forms of creativity take shape.
For Christians the best is yet to come. We change mood at this time of year to recall and remember the birth of God into our World, until we celebrate his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Christmas day is a prelude for Easter Sunday. The best is yet to come. For now we will read the Prophesies of Isaiah who formed and framed the unimaginable in the hearts of the chosen people, with John the Baptist who Heralds His presence in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. We are going back and forth through the scriptures examining the evidence which is the cause of our Hope.
The unimaginable has happened. The eternal and infinite God has become human and finite. Our life and lives have an eternal reach. The best is yet to come. A post on FaceBook during the week had a man holding a piece of cardboard with the words, ‘the beginning is near.’ We are always at the beginning. I love the phrase from the Book of Revelation, ‘I am making all things new.’ The good news does not wear out or get old or faded. Because the unimaginable has been imagined.
I went to the Advent service at All Saints last Sunday evening called a Walk Through Darkness Into the Light. This is who we are and what we are about in Advent. We take a look at our shadow selves, at what lies underneath the façade of our lives. We do an examination of conscience, looking at our attitudes and the motives that lead to our behaviour. Just in case we have slipped back into bad habits. How are we handling the big five emotions? Fear, anxiety, anger, grief and shame; to check that they are moving on through, rather than taking root and influencing our lies. We do this with the confidence of being God’s beloved because we are preparing for the Big Day. The best is yet to come.
I want to conclude with the following quote:
‘Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to human kind. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse he great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope…it is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open the doors of Hope.’
You can down load the reflection here.