I don’t write on this blog much anymore. I wrote “Emptiness” when a friend asked me to write on suffering and God, and the last two posts were poem-like pieces in response to prompts by Jaime Bagley. For December Jamie suggested that we write about the four themes of Advent, Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. I gave it a try, but got stuck on hope. I wrote out something, but didn’t post it.
Then I got asked to say something on Christmas Eve as I light the Christ Candle. So here I share with you my attempt to write about hope, and my anticipated words for Christmas Eve; Emanuel: God with us.
No, God, don’t ask me to hope.
There is pain out there – real pain.
(Spanish) es.pe.rar to hope … to wait
But they are not the same – waiting and hoping.
I’m waiting for the pain to go away.
Don’t ask me to hope – to refresh the pain.
Besides, I don’t have much time to wait.
I’ve never done much hoping; don’t ask me to start now.
I never expected things to turn out OK.
Most of my life turned out far better than I could have hoped for.
But not because I hoped.
Yet, it is Advent, and I am asked to hope.
Maybe I can do this much:
I can have hope in others.
– I can look deeply into others; beyond words and incidents.
– I can see goodness wherever it exists.
– I can see beauty anywhere.
I can relinquish my sense of control;
– hope does not depend on me
– I am still responsible for my actions
– but so are others
– we are all responsible
– but hope depends on none of us.
It’s not much, but it is what I can hope for.
Emanuel: God With Us
Tonight we light the Christ Candle: Emanuel; God with us.
Certainly the greatest miracle in my life was the birth of my daughters.
What a perfect way for us to understand the presence of God among us: this story of God being born into an infant – with all of creation as witness – the peasant shepherds, the rulers of nations, the animal world and all the angels: it’s a beautiful story, and I love it.
But I also want us to remember the unabridged version of Emanuel: God with us.
That God – all that word means and has meant to all people throughout history – the creative spirit that infuses all life – all that is sacred and good –
Is available to us;
To you, to me
As I light the Christ Candle, I invite you to have the audacity to actually believe in Emanuel: God with us.