Advent: Hope

Hope in the Season of Advent

Hope is a Powerful Word

Hope is a powerful word when it is linked with tangible actions. As my friend and mentor Vince Lewis of the West Des Moines Congregation said on Sunday, if you hope to win the lottery but don’t buy a ticket, are you going to win the lottery? No!

But if you are like Tami Borg of Northwest Congregation, hope paired with tangible action can be a powerful force for good.  When I first met Tami Borg at a Northwest Congregation priesthood meeting in 2020 she expressed her hope to start a food pantry in Runnells, Iowa, which is a rural community, population 457, in Polk County.

Tami didn’t just hope without taking action. She hoped and hoped and hoped and then started doing and doing and doing. Today, she runs the only food pantry in Runnels and is filling an important need in her community, especially for older residents and people living in their vehicles. She and her husband Bob have worked hard to turn her hope into a reality. People can come in to pick up their food on the third Saturdays of the month or they can fill out an order form and have their food delivered.

Advent is a season of hope. Hope for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Hope requires faith. Faith that the teachings and basic beliefs of the Community of Christ reflect the spiritual reality of a hoped for eternal life and ultimately the return of Jesus Christ. But is that hope simply an inner feeling or a thought? Or does hope in eternal life and hope in the return of Jesus Christ result in real action? Does it result in kin-dom of God building action?

In the 1st letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote:

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast,* but do not have love, I gain nothing. …

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians. 13:1-3,13

Our hope in Christ is based on a foundation of faith and realized in tangible love that leads to the kin-dom of God. Yes, advent is a season of hope. Now ask yourself this question: what is my true hope? What am I prepared to do to realize that hope?