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Advent Reflections: Hope

December 1, 2014

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 64:1-9 NRSV

1 O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence– 2 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil– to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! 3 When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. 4 From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. 5 You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed. 6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7 There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. 8 Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. 9 Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.

A word on “hope”:

This is the final risk of my work, the risk of hope. The only history I know is one that drives us into the future, moving like a river toward our best possible evolution. So I am willing to take this history of my people as a sign of all human possibility. I see the way we have come, the chains we have broken, the visions we have maintained as a broad-side invitation to all people. Our history joins with that common hopeful element in all histories of human struggle for community and calls each of us to develop our great hidden capacities to dream, to imagine a new American society, to become full participants in its creation, bursting with our courage and hope the barriers of all the political, economic, and social institutions that now hold us in bondage to our worst selves.

Vincent Harding


Come, Lord Jesus-form and shape us into people of courage, healing, and hope. Amen.

Harding, Vincent. There Is a River: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1981. xxv.

One Comment
  1. December 3, 2014 7:26 am

    Reblogged this on formation:community.

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