“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” ~ Shel Silverstein
HOPE. Hope is more than a word. Hope is more than an expression. Hope is more than a state of being. Hope is a reality that was won for us the moment that Jesus Christ destroyed death and restored life by His resurrection from the dead.
Hope is the message of the first candle lit on the Advent Wreath. Each week, throughout Advent, we focus on different themes. The next few days, we will reflect upon those four candles. Last week’s candle symbolized hope.
Advent is all about hope. I think it is nice that we begin the season in hope because that opens us up to possibilities better than any other way. If we have no hope, why would we bother? Why would we try? Why would we believe that there is something better waiting for each of us?
We live in a world that practically shouts at us to give up hope. It tells us that there is nothing beyond this world. It tells us to give up hoping for anything after this. It tells us to live for ourselves and not to care for others. Silverstein would say, go ahead and listen to all of that. Just don’t take it to heart. Instead, “listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
Have hope. Cling to hope. St. Paul said it best when he wrote, “Hope will not disappoint.” Do you know why he wrote that? Because hope was given to us by Jesus Himself. We can count on that.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those who feel hopeless, that they might find a reason to continue their struggle by knowing that Jesus cares for them and has given them real and eternal hope.