The past three weeks have been challenging. We’ve had snow, ice, a polar vortex, more snow, more ice, and far too many school closings. Everyone is getting tired of it. The mounds of snow may be growing, but our patience with winter certainly isn’t.
Today, we received the first phone call of the year asking about a plot in our community garden. Right now, our garden boxes are lumps of snow in the parking lot. The woman who called was wondering when planting would begin. She can see beyond the snow and ice to spring. She is living in hope. In the midst of winter, that can be hard to do.
What about us? Are we living in hope? Do we see beyond the current challenges to better days ahead? We live in a society that tells us we need to be afraid—of climate change, of the deficit, of antibiotic resistant bacteria, of people from different cultures, of what is going on in the government, of financial security, of the possibility of needing nursing home care, of terrorist attacks, and the list goes on, and on, and….
In the midst of our fear, it can be hard to remember that the Bible repeatedly tells us not to be afraid. It can be hard to remember that our security comes from God, not from the government, or our finances, or anything else society tells us is important.
Christian hope is a gift we have to offer in a hurting world. It is the confidence that God will win. Julian of Norwich (born around 1343), describes a vision she had as she struggled with despair. In Revelation of Love, she writes what she came to understand God was saying to her, “It is true that sin is the cause of all this pain, but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” Let us set out to show the world what it means to live in hope.