“Hope is when you wish for something.”

“No, hope is when you really think something is going to happen.”

This conversation, overheard from the back seat of my car, embodies the dissonance many of us live in between hope as a powerful life-giving reality, and hope as a wishy-washy sense of desire.

I choose my words carefully: “live-giving” reality. “Life-giving” expectation.

Even when we’ve moved beyond the wishy-washy to something that might help us press forward, we are in danger of watering down hope. Hope is not simply a disposition. Nor is it simply the expectation that all things will work out in the end, if we just hang on long enough.

Hope, Christian hope, the hope by which the story of the world finds a hope that will not be disappointed, comes from the confession and belief that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead.

The story of resurrection tells us that humanity is heading somewhere–somewhere beyond the power of the grave, beyond the power of sin, beyond the power of law.

The story of resurrection tells us that the cosmos is heading somewhere–somewhere beyond the power of supernovas, beyond the power of entropy, beyond the power of corruption.

The story of resurrection tells us, for sure, that our world has been imbued by its creator with a certain, inalienable hope. Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead. Humanity will be raised from the dead to its new-creation dwelling.

Hope for the future comes from the Event in the past that gives all history its meaning and its end.

Jesus Christ is raised from the dead. Therefore, we have hope.

4 thoughts on “Hope”

  1. So this morning I was all set to sit down and begin work on my tenth chapter – “Hope” but realized I cut my time too tight, closed my word document and headed to church where the first Advent candle – “hope” – was lit. Then all throughout the sermon I took notes for my chapter since the preacher’s words centered on Christ as the embodiment of hope. I drove home continuing to meditate on this subject. Then I arrived home and discovered via FB that you just wrote a blog post on what topic? Hope! If this isn’t a sign telling me to get moving, I don’t know what is….

    So the Chargers need all the hope they can get this afternoon and in a little while when I see that there may not be any “hope” for them, you’ll know what I’ll be doing later today. And you know what will be in your inbox Monday (well, actually not tomorrow but you know the drill). I think I write to recover from NFL games.

  2. I’m mad for poetry and these sort of reflect the theme:

    How should I not be glad to contemplate
    The clouds clearing beyond the dormer window
    And a high tide reflected on the ceiling.

    There will be dying, there will be dying,
    But there is no need to go into that.
    The poems flow from the hand unbidden
    And the hidden source is the watchful heart.
    The sun rises in spite of everything
    And the far cities are beautiful and bright.
    I lie here in a riot of sunlight
    Watching the day break and the clouds flying.
    Everything is going to be all right (Derk Mahon in Whyte, 2001, p.196).

    And from Ms. Emily Dickenson:

    I dwell in Possibility-
    A fairer House the Prose-
    More numerous of Windows-
    Superior – for Doors-

    Of Chambers as the Cedars
    Impregnable of Eye-
    And for an Everlasting Roof
    The Gambrels of the Sky-

    Of Visitors—the fairest –
    For Occupation- This-
    The spreading wide my narrow Hands
    To gather Paradise – …

  3. Pingback: Advent and Hope |

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