Have you ever remarked that something is “hopeless”? It’s a powerful word which literally means there is no hope left. When we say this we are saying that there is no prospect of things ever getting better or the situation ever changing. This is how things are and always will be and we need to accept it. To live with hope is to say that things will get better, the situation will change and how things are now are not how they are meant to be; not how they are going to be. And traditionally, this first Sunday in Advent has us considering our hope in Jesus.
In our reading this week Jesus outlines how bad things are going to get for His followers. The unthinkable is going to happen. The Temple in Jerusalem, where God resided according to Jewish belief, is going to be destroyed. Jerusalem is going to be over run by foreigners who will rule over it for a time. And then there will be cosmic upheaval with disruptions to the sun, moon, earth and stars. It is going to go from bad to worse to the literal end of the world. Those living in such times may think there’s nothing that can be done about it; they may think it is a hopeless situation they are in. Yet it is at this time, when things look like all hope is lost, that the world will see the return of Jesus and all will be well
This is our hope. Things may look bad in our lives, in our families, in our communities and even in our churches. We may think things can never get better; that we’re at the lowest point and there’s no point in thinking things will change. Yet we are promised that Jesus is coming back and all will be well. Hope says that how things are just now are not how they are meant to be. We are meant to live with this hope and share this hope with others. Through our lives we are to show this world that there is another way, a better way. As the line in the movie goes, “it’ll be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it’s not the end”. That’s hope. Let’s not just live this hope but also share this hope with all we meet.