Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Feathery things

Romans 5:5. NIV

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

The first Sunday of Advent was Hope Sunday, and ever since then I have been running across writings on hope - in Scripture, in poetry, in friends’ sermons.  Today, “hope does not put us to shame . .”  My immediate thought was that this was about other people thinking there is something wrong with us if we look for the best in other humans or look toward the future with hope, as if there is something shameful about being hopeful. 

Yet, hope is what sustains us in troubling times.  

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -

And sore must be the storm -

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -

And on the strangest Sea -

Yet - never - in Extremity,

It asked a crumb - of me.

Emily Dickinson

Right now we are living in troubling times.  Hope is what allows us to see a path to a good outcome.  Hope is what allows us to see a path toward reconciliation between all of the varying  and opposing parties to our current state of national division.  Faith is what tells us that God will make a way where there is no way.  Because . . . 

Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see. (Hebrews 11:1)

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