Hope is a gift of strength infusing endurance for our journey: to weather the storms, the prickly bits and inconveniences that try our patience; to keep the eyes of our hearts upon God and the goal set before us; to find delight in the Way of our path. As we set off down the road, fresh on our way, we typically file through a mental ‘packing list’, asking ourselves if we brought everything. And don’t we check yet one more time that we have all our documents? We are ready: we planned, we prepared, we packed, the compass (GPS) is set, off we go.
As we begin this Advent, I have one more important question. Can we gently unfold our souls enough to offer God a spacious place – where God might journey with us and through us? If not, if we haven’t been able to do this, maybe we can pray for this now, knowing that God’s desire for this is greater than our own. In our Gospel reading today in Luke, the chief priests and elders were questioning Jesus and in turn, he asked them, “The baptism of John—is it from heaven or from human origin?” (v. 4)
Though now I take this out of context, I am hearing a relationship between the question and our journey. Today, I want to check ‘just once more’ that I am ready to receive and walk in what God has prepared for us.
Lord, help me to be watchful of my course: that I don’t get sidelined, that my journey doesn’t become something of my own making, the result of circumstances and pressures around me.
1 Thessalonians 1:3 creates swirling echoes around Mary’s fiat, “a work of faith, labour of love and patience of hope”. Such is the nature of our pilgrimage. We are asking neither for ease nor consolation but rather participation in the work of God that bears the fruitfulness of Christ.
Sweet Gift of Hope, set our hearts mindfully on the path Christ has set before us, that from within the darkness and silence of winter, his light might shine through our lives.
– Dorothy Dahli