I am not really a winter/snow person and I have pretty much decided that I am not a 2020 person either. When I went out to do some shoveling this morning and saw my “Hope” message partially covered with snow I thought to myself, how easy it is to lose hope these days.
I have heard so many sad stories from individuals struggling with loneliness and depression, others trying to cope with one illness after another, and yet others who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Job loss of course raises all kinds of fears about paying bills and keeping a room over ones head.
I have personally had the experience twice in these covid-19 restrictive days of having to drop a loved one off at the door of a hospital and not allowed to visit (in once case for weeks) or wait out a surgery in the waiting room and get an immediate report from the doctor. It is a helpless feeling to be sure.
For many of us hope is renewed through our faith and yet in addition to increased isolation we can’t even go to church in-person much less receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion which has nourished and sustained many of us for decades.
Yes, how easily we can lose sight of hope or slip into despair, but I urge you not to. Yes, it has been a long journey through these months of 2020 but more people are wearing masks and taking social distancing seriously. And we now have a vaccine that won’t change things overnight, but it holds promise for us. Understand that without confidence in the future we diminish hope and jeopardize joy. But this is Advent, a season of hope and expectation.
If ever there was a time for healing it is now and the Christ for whom we wait came to heal. This is a healing of body and nation for which we wait these days. Do not lose hope, my dears, Jesus has promised to come again and as we await that final arrival it behooves us to invite him in now, into our hearts and lives, born anew for us and our salvation.
I found a meme that read: Hope is the little voice you hear whisper “maybe” when it seems the entire world is shouting, “no.”
In Advent the shout is “yes,” it is a promise, and so I urge you, do not lose HOPE. God is with you.
With love and renewed Hope,
The Rev. Ellen Meissgeier
Pastor, Resurrection Lutheran Church