We are entering the season of hope and the signs are all around us: jacarandas (and Patterson’s curse) are incandescent and cereal crops are ready in the paddock – reflections of good, plentiful rain. There are flies everywhere, too; reminders of the season, but certainly not blessings.
It’s only a handful of Sundays until we remember one of the stories at our faith’s heart. We begin with portents of hope – Israel restored, with swords and spears used instead to prepare, then harvest the crop. The hope is well-founded, our wait is not in vain; this coming story of babies and mangers is not just one of profound beauty, but the earthed story of our God fully present in our broken world.
Israel waits, the first disciples waited, as we wait, for this to be complete.
We light a new candle each week, and we wait.
We remember, and we hope, because we remember what God has sung in Jesus Christ. Our waiting is the singing of that song; our waiting is forgiving those who need that word spoken; our waiting is loving our neighbour, and then our enemy, despite the struggle of each heartbeat.
Our waiting is creating peace where there is none, and declaring our hope when it seems reasonable to despair. Our waiting is joining the Spirit’s chorus, crying out for justice, feeding the hungry and healing the broken-hearted.
We wait, as citizens of the kingdom which is to come and is already here.
We wait, because we remember, and we hope.
This hope helps us to remember that Caesar’s commands and Herod’s depredations and soldiers’ violence and a baby’s vulnerability and parents’ humanity cannot define, restrict, or defy the Word of God spoken into the world.
At our weakest, we believe it’s entirely up to us; at our worst, we proclaim that Caesar really is Lord.
Why is why we are called to remember so faithfully, and why we are reminded to wait so deliberately. It is why we need each other to remind us when we stumble.
We are disciples of Emmanuel, of Jesus. We are apprenticed to him, and each deliberate act of hope is found first in him. These are the jacaranda flowers of our lives – signs that God is both coming to us, and is already with us.
We are never called to save the world, but we are called to live in the hope of the one who has – Jesus Christ.