Yesterday was the last Sunday of advent. The waiting is almost over.
Christmas Eve is just around the corner – we just have to get through this one week of work, or exams, or rest.
But waiting for what exactly? Do we even know? Sometimes Advent feels like that kid on the tricycle from The Incredibles.
Do we even know how to expect something amazing?
Do we even want something amazing?
Do we even need a messiah?
I don’t know.
Maybe there’s something to be said for setting our expectations low.
Maybe there’s something to be said for giving up hope.
Could hope be found merely in that this hope-sucking year of 2016 is coming to an end? Does that really count as hope – that next year isn’t going to suck?
Cynicism can be like a warm sweater that keeps us comfy on a wintry day.
It works well in the cold.
However, it doesn’t work so well on a hot, sunny day. That same sweater that kept us warm now becomes dreadfully uncomfortable.
Cynicism is only a winter sport.
Nothing can make us more anxious than uncertainty about the future. Because when we don’t know what’s coming around the corner – we can’t control it.
Our cynicism in the present becomes our anxiety about the future.
We project the worst of today onto tomorrow – and that can make it very hard to keep going on.
So I come back to hope.
I come back to the foolishness of Advent.
The foolishness of waiting for a Messiah – one who could actually change our hopelessly cynical landscape.
Waiting for the child to become Christ.
Hoping in this truth that cannot be fully validated. Being the hopeful fool – using our naive hope to change the world around us.
Rejecting the highway of our cynicism and choosing the narrow trail of faith.
It’s fighting the good fight of faith.
Fighting our urge to give up, to build our cynical walls and make those in closest relationship with us pay for it.
If we want hope – we need to get to pursue it more intensely than we’ve pursued anything else we’ve wanted.
Because our world and our screens won’t hand it to us.
We’re not entitled to hope.
Yet it’s always free and always available to us.
So this year – expect something amazing.
Push out your fear, your cynicism, your hurt, your pain.
Let God take care of it.
Let the dead bury their own dead – focus on the hope of the child.
That in this world of death – new life is always forming.
That as long as your heart is still beating there is always hope.
This is my last blog post for PiE – thank you to all who have read and engaged with the PiE blog these last couple of years. I hope it continues to be a source of inspiration and challenge for you. -Chris