Thursday, December 07, 2017

Porch Stories :: Hope

porch stories 06 December hope

For her Porch Story this week, as Kristin Hill Taylor considers The Thrill & Pain of Hope, she tells us about a painful ear condition and anticipates {isn't anticipation a variety of hope?} celebrating the arrival of Jesus in our midst.

Last Sunday the church opened a new Year of Grace with the season of Advent, the nearly-winter month {in the northern hemisphere} we formally watch and wait for Jesus to be born in Bethlehem. The word advent has roots in the Latin ad-venire, toward-coming—just like adventure! Every year Advent begins with a splash of scriptural apocalyptic, signaling the end of the world as we've known it.

Churches that follow the Revised Common Lectionary for their scripture readings started listening to and studying the gospel according to Mark for this new liturgical year. Most weeks in the lectionary we hear an Old Testament reading from one of the prophets; as I explained to my adult Sunday School class, people tend to think of Hebrew Bible prophets calling people to repentance {to some extent they did—they also lined out if-then alternatives}, but more than a change in human attitude, behavior, and outlook, prophecy proclaimed the inbreaking of the grace-filled reign of God, the end of the old, the birth of the new creation. They announced resurrection from actual death!

Blue is the color for Advent; blue is the color of hope. Advent with its hope is a harbinger of Easter, the great Trinitarian feast of resurrection we celebrate as the fulfillment of hope. "Advent" comes from the same root as adventure. Are we ready to trust God through the season of Advent and beyond as we anticipate the defeat of death, the adventure of resurrection, the reality of the new creation? I hope so!

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