Another semester of seminary is over & the holidays are buzzing around us. It has been a unique time of transition & change this semester. As seniors we've transitioned into our last year as graduate level students at Luther Seminary & started looking towards the future after graduation. As a community, we've changed faculty, staff, & students. As a world we've lived through many tragedies & many celebrations of new life & hope for a better today.
On Sunday the pastor, of Jacob's Well Minneapolis, asked us, "Where do we find hope in these times?" This is hard to answer in light of recent school shootings, stabbings, natural disasters, sudden changes & death in a community. However, in light of my recent final paper for my Holy Spirit course, I was able to share, with the community, that I find hope at the foot of the cross. The Holy Spirit that is in each breathing thing, is the same Spirit that is in Christ. The same Spirit that is in Christ, our resurrected Lord & Redeemer, is in you & me. This is Good News (this is Gospel). Just by our gathering together as community there is hope. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans:
But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you...But if Christ is in you, through the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (NRSV 8:9&10).
In this time of Advent we are waiting for the celebration of Christ's birth. We are waiting in Hope that our Redeemer is near. We are waiting for our realization of righteousness in the world. We are waiting with heavy hearts of the world around us. Today, I am sad because of death. Death of the children in CT, death of the children in China, death of the people in the Philippines, death of the people in NY, death of a friend & loved ones. We are still waiting for Christ. I have hope. Paul also wrote:
For in hope we are saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (NRSV 8:24-25)
The tragedies of 2012 do not make since. Life is confusing & humanity constantly fails itself (& our creator God). So amidst the mud of today's struggles & sadness, we wait in hope of a better tomorrow & are affirmed that through the death & resurrection of Christ, there is new life in each breath we are given. Sometimes we need to sit in the dirt & sadness of life, with the the Spirit who breaths new life in & out of us, that leads us to hope for a better tomorrow. Cling to this hope & the foot of the cross...it will get us to tomorrow.