Yr A ~ Advent 1 ~ Psalm 72:1-7; Romans 8:18, 22-26
Wishing and hoping are not interchangeable words. Wishing is how you interact with the lottery. Hoping is how you interact with God. Wishing is a part of hope, but there’s much more to it.
Hope means “a wish or a desire accompanied by the confident expectation of its fulfillment”. We’re all over the “wish and desire” part. Our lives are bursting with wishes and desires. But what about the other part of hope – the bigger part – the part that elevates it beyond being just a wish or a desire? When your wish is “accompanied by the confident expectation of its fulfillment” – then it’s elevated to hope.
I love that phrase – “the confident expectation of its fulfillment”. Hope isn’t based in maybes – it’s based in certainties. Hope is more than a wish – it’s the absolute, assured, believe-it-in-the-core-of-my-being, definitely-gonna-happen, better-get-out-of-the-way-‘cause-it’s-coming-any-minute-now, conviction that the deep desire I feel will be fulfilled. You cannot say, “Gee I hope that happens” and walk away with butterflies in your stomach. If it’s really hope, then it’s grounded in “the confident expectation of its fulfillment”. You cannot hope that you’ll win the lottery, or that the Leafs will ever win the Stanley Cup because hope must be grounded in the confident expectation of its fulfillment!
Hope is a prominent theme in our scriptures. It appears 71 times in the Hebrew Bible including 16 times in Job (!), and 26 times in the Psalms – “my hope is in God” – and then it appears 69 times in the New Testament with Acts, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, and Romans being the ‘hopiest’. read on