Keep On Swimming

Real Hope is hard.

I confess how hard I find it to open daily to my own pain, let along my heart open for a hope that’s wide enough to envelop Aleppo, Haiti, Don Dale, Manus, Baghdad, Hebron, the Great Barrier Reef. Or even just enough hope for reconciliation with those from whom I am estranged this Christmas.

Advent is about real hope, real holiness. Waiting in sober silence of hard-fought-for hope. Hope that is a fragile gift. Hope that daily requires the wrestling open of our hands and hearts to be received. The hope that demands a willingness to feel through the numbness. A willingness to hurt.

Real Hope is hard. It calls from us a holiness which is not our own. May hope piece our souls with Christ’s victorious suffering-love that we, too, might lift our voice in song.

Contemporary Reading – Will You Keep Watch with Me: Advent Reflections of Peacemakers, Excerpts from Jarrod McKenna, Edited by Claire Brown and Michael McRay

Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”

When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:

“A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.”

Matthew 2:13-18 (NRSV)


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