It’s the 20th day of Advent, and I am tired. I made a master list of all the things that need to get done in the next 8 days: finish lingering work projects, submit job applications with end-of-year deadlines, manage documents for a lease renewal and a new health insurance policy, keep up with two current part-time jobs, finish my Christmas shopping, buy groceries for all the special dishes on deck this week, bake cookies, make party mix, fix oyster stew, host a Christmas Eve gathering at home, plan and lead Christmas Day activities at church, pack and prepare to be on the road for a week as soon as Christmas lunch ends. The list is long. I don’t need to tell you what that feels like – I’m sure your list is just as long, if not longer.
Lists are life. At the outset of Advent, I sat down and made a list of the hopeful things I wanted to write about. The list was robust enough that it convinced me to take on the daily writing on top of the busiest time of year, and it has been a really important practice to carry me through this weird season. I’m still committed to writing every day. There are still several entries on the list waiting for their turn to be featured, but the list will end before Christmas arrives. So, I asked on Facebook yesterday, and I’ll ask here, today: what, specifically, has brought you hope this year? Leave a comment, here or there. We’ll keep hope alive, together.
In the meantime, some words on hope from Jan Richardson:
Par’ elpida ep’ elpidi.
—Romans 4.18, Greek New Testament (Literally, “Against hope with hope.”)
Hope where we had ceased to hope.
Hope amid what threatens hope.
Hope with those who feed our hope.
Hope beyond what we had hoped.
Hope that draws us past our limits.
Hope that defies expectations.
Hope that questions what we have known.
Hope that makes a way where there is none.
Hope that takes us past our fear.
Hope that calls us into life.
Hope that holds us beyond death.
Hope that blesses those to come.