By Katie Calkin
“As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.”
Sometimes hope feels like a happy, buoyant feeling. Especially when it pops up unexpectedly. But often hope feels more like a decision to me, a determined resolve. So many times this year as I’ve despaired it has helped me to remember that Jesus also wept over selfishness, greed and violence, but continued with his journey into Jerusalem and towards the cross. Jesus’ resolve bolsters me to sit with God in silence asking for guidance, and to continue to do the small acts of God’s work that I am invited to participate in each day.
But this grittier type of hope can sometimes get shriveled like a dried sponge. Even though Christmas brings mixed emotions, and this pandemic year will continue to have unique losses and disconnects, I am already feeling my “hope sponge” swell.
We have several nativity sets that are meaningful for different reasons, but year after year this Joseph especially draws me in. When I gaze at him I feel humbled and awed that I am nestled in a much, much bigger story than my own. God reveals God’s self to us in little glimpses we can handle, and on Christmas morning that is through a vulnerable baby born into poverty in troubled times who will show us what it is to live in complete surrender. May all of our weary spirits be lifted this Advent as we anticipate the miraculous and mysterious incarnation of Christ.
Living Christ, renew our hope with the celebration of your birth. Bathe us in awe. Refresh our spirits so that our actions are hope for the world. Amen.