I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday, and that this first week of Advent has given you the opportunity to reflect on what it means to hope in these troubling times.
Advent comes upon us, like the last month of a pregnancy. Watching my wonderful daughter-in-law, Gabby, carry baby O in that last month, watching his kicks and stretches through her taut belly, seeing her gait change as he dropped—it was fascinating. It was at first uncomfortable, and then painful to bring that boy into the world. And of course as Gabby and Joel waited for the birth, they were filled with some anxiety and also hope. Having a baby is a job…but the blessing of new life is just magical.
We are waiting (aren’t we?) for the birth of something better in our nation. Something kinder, more honest, more just, more life-giving. We want to go outside. We want wellness. We want peace. The liminal space of waiting for what we want can be soul-crushing. It can be filled with fear, and anxiety—as though our hard work has been in vain. Waiting can also be filled with hope, wonder, and curiosity. Where does hope come from? For me it comes from recalling history. Over time, good people of moral courage and holy imagination in every generation have loved the world around them into healing. They’ve bent the moral arc of the universe toward justice.
Proverbs 13:12 is so real for me in this moment: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
We live in between the space of deferred hope and fulfilled longing, between the now and not yet. What gives me hope in the meantime is the track record of our ancestors in partnership with our God. They saw what was broken and fixed it; saw enslavement and liberated the captives; saw pain and healed it; saw despair and sowed seeds of love that grew into restoration. We are the future ancestors, friends, of the people around us. I hope in you. I hope for you. I hope because of you. That hope gives peace to my soul.
Sending prayers for hope and peace in this space of waiting. And as we wait:
- – Join me at a Sweet Georgia Persists fundraiser with Rev. Warnock on Saturday December 5, 8-10 EST. I’ll be speaking and serving as host/MC.
- – Sign up for The Soul of Money class with Chad Tanaka Pack, and Sunday’s Children’s Multicultural Book Fair
- – Come Sunday, be with us for our second Advent, God is Peace Worship Celebration. I’ll be preaching live, and the music and prayers are simply beautiful (I’ve seen a preview)! And be sure to bake cookies between then and now for cookie communion!