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Tavern Talk #29: Hope

Hope means to cherish a desire with anticipation. What better topic for the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 than hope? Anticipation frequently accompanies the start of a new year. And we long for things to be different this year.

The pandemic provides plenty of opportunities for desired change: the illness itself, its potential long-term impacts on our health both physical, emotional, and financial, our inconsistent responses to the pandemic’s threats, the resulting losses of our ways of life and of lives themselves. But we’ve had to deal with much more, haven’t we? Our continued struggle with racial justice and racial intolerances, our political polarization, our collective depression, and a general attitude of nastiness and self-centeredness, among other issues, have permeated the fabric of our lives.

Many feel that their resources of hope and for hope are waning after being overly taxed this past year. And frankly, the prospects for change any time soon can seem elusive for many. That’s a lack of hope. But our faith, belief, and trust in God provides hope. God, through the grace of Jesus Christ, provides healing, health, comfort for the losses associated with death, and a reason for not fearing the inevitable.

Hope can be found where and when we least expect it. We must be ever vigilant in our desire to find it. But only we can seize it when it is in our grasp, someone cannot take hold of it for us. And it’s always in our grasp, even when we are searching in vain for it elsewhere. Though we cannot make someone hopeful, we must be agents of hope for others, helping them to find it when it otherwise seems lost.

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