Tuesday, 28 November 2017
Last Sunday's sermon reflection was challenging. The staff determined that during Advent we would look at some of the characters of the Christmas story and see what they might have to say to us about the lives we live. We are going to be aided each week by insights from some folks within the church. This week we looked at the little known character of Simeon, an old man, who was wandering around the Jewish temple hoping God would send a saviour to Israel. When Mary brings her new babe to the temple Simeon believes that his hope has been realized in the baby Jesus. So I got musing about hope - Dayle's comments about supporting refugees also spoke about the need for hope. What I found challenging is that although Simeon's long experience of waiting was realized, our hopes don't always result in what we hoped for. Lots of couples long for a baby but it does not come. Lots of refugees long for a new life in Canada but remain in refugee camps. It is not an easy "one, two step" from hope to realization. So what is the gospel message for us? My conclusion is that "holding on to hope" is the vocation of Christians. Sometimes all we have to offer someone in despair is the willingness to hope with them. Does this make sense to you? Have you had hopes that were realized? Have you had hopes that were not realized? Do you help to carry hope for some people? I look forward to any insights you might share.