Advent Day 23: Hope

Advent Day 23

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (I Corinthians 13:13)

The timing on this post couldn’t be better.  Yesterday Bill (senior pastor at the church where I serve) gave some examples of people who had hope despite terrible odds.  I had already planned this post:  so for today, think and pray about hope.  What keeps you going?  What are your deepest longings, as opposed to temporary wishes?  Where do you notice examples of hope, or things that make you hopeful?

I love this verse from 1 Corinthians, not only because it sounds good, but because it presents a particular challenge to me as a Christian and a pastor in America in 2010.  You see, the frightening situations Americans have experienced in the past 10 years or so have pushed many people against an emotional and spiritual wall.  When we get pushed like that, our deeply held fears and beliefs have nowhere to hide.  I’ve heard people in the last ten years call for more “love” (in the form of tolerance, reaching out to those in need, etc.) and for more “faith” (or truth, or righteousness, or right and wrong.)  Sometimes the “love” people and the “faith” people find themselves at odds with one another.

But who’s talking about hope?  I’d like to hear more about that.  I want to preach more about it.  (If you’re reading this, I’d love to hear a story of hope from you!)  Even though Paul writes that love is the greatest, here at the end of 2010 I think we need a little more hope to bind us together.  Considering hope is not an “official” spiritual practice, like many of the others I’ve described in this blog, but I consider it a very worthy subject for our prayers. 

What can you say about hope?

Today’s daily Scripture reading from the PC(USA):  http://gamc.pcusa.org/devotion/daily/2010/12/20/

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