As we bring to a close another Christmas season with the Baptism of the Lord we might want to take a moment to think about what our ancestors in faith hoped for in the coming of the Savior. For so many generations the chosen people of God, the Israelites, struggled in their quest to know and understand God. They knew of God for the most part by word of mouth, by stories passed on from generation to generation. Our ancestors in faith did not have the luxury of knowing Jesus Christ the way we have known him throughout our lives. They never heard about the shepherds in the fields, or a bright star in the sky or even the name of Mary, the Mother of God. They never knew the Son of God who performed miracles and forgave people their sins. So how did they keep hope all those years?
Hope is defined by such words as confidence, optimism, courage, anticipation, even faith. Apply those words to the Israelites and we are sure to understand they were indeed a people of hope. It seems having hope is a bit about possessing an attitude that indeed something good is to come. Hope is rooted in our future. We never speak of having hope in our past. To have hope is to believe in the goodness of God and trust that God is with us on our journey. Like our ancestors, we cannot know the future, but we can trust that we will survive and thrive because God is always with us.
So let us as a people of God in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand Sixteen, live as a people of hope. Let us adopt an attitude of hope and live our lives trusting God to be with us. This year, like the thousands of years before will bring all kinds of human experiences to light. Some will be blessings; others will be challenges that might cause us to lose hope in our future. Let us take time to sincerely address our attitude toward the future trusting that God will provide all that we need for our journey on this earth.
Then, with hope in our hearts, let us have faith in the gift of life and love so graciously given to us by our loving and creative God. Let us this year be a people of HOPE!
Blessing in the New Year,
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC