When we hope for something, when we look forward in anticipation for a future reality, we live differently. Anticipation for a future reality affects how we live in the present reality.
My naïve American pragmatism had no conceptual space to piece together this man’s story. And I thought I knew brokenness! Growing up in Los Angeles, interacting with homeless populations, poverty, single-parent homes, immersed in ministries directly working with gang members and drug addicts—none of it prepared me for those conversations I had in that sewer.
My hope has been rebuilt upon the redeeming work that God has done. His redeeming work includes my identity and him reminding me of who I truly am and whose I am. I now have a hope to be the man God calls me to be and do the things that God asks of me. This hope, which comes from love, leads me to obedience.
This Advent hope it not predicated on our wishful thinking or naivety. Advent hope is also not something abstract or distant. This hope is founded on the reality of Jesus: his life and work as seen in the first Advent, the promise of his second Advent, and the new reality that creates to furnish hope in our lives today. It is a hope that matters today and impacts today.