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God’s Faithfulness: The Source of Our Hope – By Robert C. Hereth

November 29, 2011

“… and hope does not disappoint us.” Romans 5:5 (Read Romans 5:1-5)

These days when I grab the end of the wishbone from the turkey, I take the weak end, so my grandson will get the big end when it breaks (so he “gets his wish”). I confess when I was a kid with my little sister, I’d be sure to take the winning end. But even if we play with superstitions, like blowing out birthday candles in one breath, we don’t really bank on a wish coming true. (If it did, would I let my grandson get the big end? Gulp!)

The Bible doesn’t talk of wishing but of “hoping.” We live in hope that God will come and redeem this sad, old world where “the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now.” (Romans 8:22) The reason such hope is not just wishful thinking is that God keeps his promises.

God promised through Abraham that the entire world would be blessed, and here you and I are, children of God. God promised a Messiah, and kept his promise at Christmas. God promised to defeat death and did so at Easter. God promised that common folk like us would have his Spirit, and Pentecost happened. “Our hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”  (Romans 5:5) In the face of all the many things we don’t understand, we still have hope because God keeps his promises.

In many places the Bible talks as if the world will be shattered before the golden age (2 Peter 3:10, etc.), but we hope for a “new heaven and earth where righteousness is at home.” (v. 13) Jesus likens the trauma to birth pains but promises that, like a new mother, we will ultimately rejoice, and “no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16:22)

Whatever is coming in your future, God is also coming, so you always have hope – a sure hope.

Lord, no matter where I go tomorrow, you’ll be there.

(Robert C. Hereth, Good News! Great Joy! Devotions for the Days of Advent [St. Louis, MO: Creative Communications for the Parish, 2008, p. 7]. This was the last reflection read at our Advent Quiet Day on Saturday. Print versions of this reflection and other Advent material are available on two card tables in the Hall.)

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