Sunday, November 30, 2014

Advent 2014, Day 1: The Luxury of Hope

Welcome to another season of daily(ish) blog posts for Advent. As in previous years, these posts are intended as a personal reflection on the season, a creative response to scripture, and a more-or-less spontaneous meditation for the day. As such, they are not based on deep scriptural study, but are instead a "first impression" response to the Bible.

On the four Sundays of Advent, I'll share thoughts on the week's theme. Throughout the week I'll post reflections on the lectionary scripture texts.

As I considered what approach to take to this season, I couldn't help but be impacted by the stories of hopelessness, violence, tragedy, and hate that seem to be on every news program and social media feed lately. This isn't new---it happens year after year. How then do we celebrate hope, peace, joy, and love? Part of me says it is an exercise in irony. But part of me believes---has to believe---that though it may be ironic, it will finally, ultimately, be True.

May you find glimpses of that Truth in this season. Thanks for looking for it with me.

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The Luxury of Hope

how can we afford
hope?

do we dare to spend it extravagantly, showering promises
on the streets like candy
(or manna)
where just anybody might gather it up
and use it for who knows what
        ('cause you know what they're like,
         they'll drink it down or smoke it away
         or shoot it up
         and we'll have thrown hope away for nothing more
         than a temporary high)
or
ought we instead
store it safely away,
locked and keyed,
keep it pristine and safe
so it won't be wasted
        even if it maybe wastes away

do we dare to let hope blaze, irreverently turning on every lightswitch
--even in the rooms we're not using!--
twinkling strands and florescent bulbs and floodlights,
and sit back and
watch the meter spinning as our house shines
in the darkness
or
ought we instead
set up a rationing program,
dole it out in drops, for
         why should anyone else benefit from our light
         when in times of recession
         what we need to do is conserve, to cut back
         where we can and let those
         who have need of it get it
         however they're able (if they're able)

do we dare to let hope pour out
so all who are parched may be quenched
or
ought we instead
make hope a commodity to be hoarded
(as we seem to make everything else?)
for
surely if the world is to be believed
there is too little to go around

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