(Photo: Lindy Twaddle)
Rev. Kim Hurst, minister in Valetta, Malta, has prepared a series of blog posts for the coming week on the theme of Advent Hope to comfort and encourage us, featuring thoughts and poems and prayers.
To introduce the theme, I’ve selected a Scripture verse, a resounding hymn, an intriguing comment by a 91-year-old and a prayer about building our hopes on God, our Rock.
Heb 10:23 (NRSV)
“Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.”
All my hopes on God is founded,
all my trust he will renew;
safe through change and chance he guides me,
only good and only true,
he alone calls my heart to be his own.
A while back I was looking for inspiration for a new song. Reading through a blog post on brainpickings.org I came across this intriguing comment by the 91-year-old aunt of the American writer, Dani Shapiro.
“I once had a terribly difficult period that lasted twenty-four years. … And it was so important to realize that I didn’t know what was on the other side of the darkness. Every so often there was a sliver of light that shot the whole world through with mystery and wonder, and reminded me: I didn’t have all the information.”
The truth is we don’t have all the information, but thanks be to God, we have enough to keep our hopes up.
As Rebecca Manley Pippert writes in her book, A Heart for God: “We know that God had the first word and will also have the last. We know that God will take our difficulties and weave them into purposes we cannot as yet see. And when he is done, the day will be more glorious for our having gone through the difficulties.” (p. 224)
May we long
not for the smoothness of sand
which looks good, and feels flat,
and is easy to walk on
but will not withstand a storm.
May we build our hopes
Though you may not prevent the storms,
you keep us firm
So even if we’re battered,
we cannot fall
except deeper into a crevice
in the rock;
deeper into you.
by Jane Grayshon
from The Book of a Thousand Prayers by Angela Ashwin, #250