In Community: Hope
In this advent season of anticipation, I ask, if you practice hope, do you not also pray? To practice a theological virtue of hope in the Catholic sense, is to anticipate a Holy reunion with the God, in an eschatological reckoning; ie. an afterlife. If your theology does not include an afterlife, then how might we UUs practice a virtue the hope? I do not refer to hoping you’ll receive a new gadget for Christmas, or hoping your commute isn’t too bad tomorrow, or hoping you can change someone’s vote with your brilliant tweet. I am talking about collective hope. How can your spunky, particular, individual hope join up with a collective hope? Sometimes I think having children was my boldest act of hope. But in fact, I have been hopeful and concerned about other people’s children much longer than I ever hoped to have my own. I carried a hope for all children, and I still do.
What do you hope for us? What is your deepest hope for your faith community during our building transition? Do you hope we find the spot closest to your house? Or do you hope we land in a place where our message can save the most lives, reach the most people, and offer the most needed services to Atlantans who need some hope? What do you hope for our nation? That in the next election, your side will prevail? Do you hope you don’t have to pay higher taxes on your property? Or do you hope for massive debt relief for all? Do you hope for free, quality health care for all?
I challenge you this Advent season, to practice the virtue of hope. Wake up each morning, and greet the day with one small hope -for someone else. Say it out loud, or write it down. Your devotion to hope will feel just like praying.