December 15

Jeremiah 29:11-14, HopeRoger Temme

By Roger Temme

Many of us who are on social media today, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other apps, have to make sure we have a password that will be safe and secure so that no one can hack us. So, of course we “hope” that we won’t forget the many passwords we use because that is most frustrating for us. So is this what are hopes have often boiled down to – remembering passwords.  Well I suggest one password that we shouldn’t forget as we live our spiritual lives “Hope Forward.” The prophet, Jeremiah, says “For surely I know the plans for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (29:11).  This is God’s desire for us that we be safe and well and that our future be blessed with hope, care and love.

I recently asked friends to share how they envision hope and here’s what some replied – “Hope is a possibility of goodness, peace, love and healing through the uncertain and difficult times.” “Understanding that a path is always available and that you have courage to follow it.” “It gives us a positive outlook and allows us to dream, imagine and believe.” “Hope is my granddaughter as she grows and learns…children give me hope.”

Hope for me is the friends who lift me up when I am facing a serious illness, who provide a word of comfort when I find that a dear friend dies suddenly, who are silently present when I hear a challenging word from the cardiologist, who forgives me after many years of estrangement from each other. Hope is when God assures us that if we call on God, that God will hear us; that in searching for God, God will be found; and if we seek God with all our heart, God will be present. So our real and only password (that we should never forget or lose) is “Hope Forward.”

O God, who is love, you are our hope and life, give us courage and peace as we await your coming, not only at Christmas, but each day that we call on you and believe that you are near. Loving one, you are present to us in the caring and compassionate people who show up in our lives at good times and bad times.  May we be full of gratitude and always hope forward to a new day and a new future. Bless us today and in the days to come. May it be so! Amen!

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