Love cries from a stable trough,
His passion foretold.
Still, we make ready
For a world fashioned anew.
In church this morning we heard the gospel from Luke 21.25-36 and when we reached the last verse, a man standing behind me spoke the words in anticipation:
but my words will not pass away.
The first week of Advent is about hope. In that man's voice, I heard a determined hope, one that echoed the other reading for today from Jeremiah 33.14:
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfil the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
Hope is fragile (the butterfly or mariposa is a traditional symbol of the hope of resurrection). But we cannot let it go, despite everything we know of pain and fear, and our constant doubts that all this will come to nothing.
Yet to sustain hope, we have to practice it. We have to hear it spoken by others and keep on proclaiming it to ourselves. So this morning we sang to each other:
May you not lose faith, may you not lose hope
May you not lose faith my brother
May you not lose faith my sister
Although the present time is difficult
and affliction grows among us
may you not lose hope, my sister
nor blow out the light of God's reign.
(J Páez, E Sosa, P Sosa)
As advent begins, we allow ourselves once more to name our deepest hopes, that God will come to meet us once more, love crying from a manger.
The revised Common Lectionary readings for today are available online.