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Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:44 PM

Hope!

In the Christian calendar, the four Sundays prior to Christmas are celebrated as “Advent.” The word means, coming into place”, or “anticipation.” While each of the Sundays has its own theme, the basic concern of this traditional season is “hope.” Hope is distinguished from optimism, which denotes only a happy attitude no matter what is happening.

Hope is what the slaves held onto when they sang, “Sweet low sweet chariot, comin for to carry me home”—meaning the underground railroad. Their hope was that another group of Christians, basically in the north, were not like their masters who also claimed to be followers of Jesus. That hope held them together until freedom finally came. Hope is the conviction that written into the substance of things is that energy which drives all of creation up through the hard realities. It is not just that things will be all right, but that there is written into the heart of all things an impulse for what is noble. It is what gave life meaning to Anne Frank who wrote, “Despite all that has happened, I still believed in the goodness of people.”

At the funeral of his brother, the great atheistic lecturer Robert Ingersoll said, “hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing.” Christians believe that there is that positive impulse which relates everything to everything else, and that there is a benevolent will in all of us—theist and atheist alike—and in all creation. It is that which causes us to reach into the future and being back into the present what we hope for. It is what the prophet Micah said when he held that the day would come when warriors would “beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.“ An early Christian held that there were only three things that held life together---“faith, hope and love.” Whatever your basic convictions are, for me these are enough to hold onto no matter what.

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Reply Hope! (Original post)
Thats my opinion Nov 2012 OP
trotsky Nov 2012 #1
rug Nov 2012 #2

Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:49 PM

1. All anyone can do is "claim" to be a follower of Jesus.

The slave masters followed Jesus as they understood the bible. No different than you in that regard. Neither of you is a perfect Christian because there is no such thing and never will be, since Jesus was a Jew.

(By the way, do you believe that everyone who was involved in the underground railroad was a Christian? Do you know if every abolitionist was a Christian?)

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:02 PM

2. When I was much younger I couldn't wait for Christmas.

Now, the coming of the promise, the Advent, is the more moving season for me.



Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!



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