How Does Hope Shape Us?

hope - letters sitting on windowsillA driving dynamic of Advent is hope. If we had nothing to hope for, there would be no point to this season. The original hope was for a child to be born who would bring justice and peace to the world and who would heal the rift between humanity and God. But that larger hope is filled with smaller ones—daily hopes that can shape us as people.

Some hopes will shape our relationships. The Christ Child grew to be a man who embodied forgiveness and generosity. A life of hope sees the good in others, is patient with their shortcomings, and tenaciously envisions them at their best.

Some hopes will shape our life work. The promised Messiah proclaimed God’s realm of justice and mercy. No matter what jobs we do or work positions we hold, as hopeful people we maintain fairness and integrity as short-term and long-term goals. We make our work matter for the common good.

Some hopes will shape our character. Jesus exemplified hope that cultivates true interior freedom. A hopeful person cannot continue in anxiety, grasping, need for control, and habitual anger.

How is hope visible in your life? Where has it faded?

Image by Yandle under CC BY 2.0.

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Vinita Hampton Wright
Vinita Hampton Wright edited books for 32 years, retiring in 2021. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places and spirituality books Days of Deepening Friendship, The Art of Spiritual Writing, Small Simple Ways: An Ignatian Daybook for Healthy Spiritual Living, and, most recently, Set the World on Fire: A 4-Week Personal Retreat with the Female Doctors of the Church. Vinita is a spiritual director and continues to facilitate retreats and write fiction and nonfiction. She lives with her husband, two dogs, and a cat in Springdale, Arkansas.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you, Vinita, for stressing the relationship between Hope and Advent. Every year I hope that that Baby will instill hope in me, as He did in His mother an foster-father. And He does. My Christmas is filled with faith, hope, and love because I waited for Him to come. Come, Jesus, come.

  2. The message of HOPE I am finding comforting. I am distracted by so many inconsequential matters and your reflections help ground me. Thank you.

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