2021 Advent Devotional: In the Midst of Changing Ways – Many Gifts, One Spirit
Week 4: The Gift of Hope
Scripture: Micah 5:4-5 – “And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be one of peace.”
Reflector: Connie Takamine
Hope is a word that can be a verb or a noun. When used as a verb, it can be rather mundane, like “I hope that it is going to snow someday,” or “I hope the Buffs win whatever sport they are playing.” When used as a noun, it can have a different connotation, even though both noun and verb express feelings of expectation.
Currently, hope as a noun is not in vogue. At the beginning of the pandemic there was an almost apocalyptic feeling exacerbated by political divisiveness, social unrest, and climate disasters. In fact, a recent headline read “Political Divisiveness Creates Hopelessness.”
In the midst of changing ways, however, there are glimpses of hope. I have been a mentor with the CU Leeds School of Business for about the past fifteen years. Last year, I did not have a mentee mainly due to the pandemic since most students were not on campus. I did not realize how much I missed being a mentor until I recently met my new mentee, who is terrific. I am amazed at what students are facing these days, and how their attitudes have changed as to what defines success. While they want a comfortable life, they are also concerned with making the world a better place, serving the underserved, and creating a more equitable society.
Mentoring is one of the most rewarding experiences that I’ve had. It is not just about me imparting my experiences of life in the business world, but also about building a relationship. And I learn as much from my mentees as I hope I impart to them. Since I do not have human children (my cats are my children), having a relationship with younger people is a way to keep in touch with what is going on in the world. Probably most of what I know about social media has come from my mentees.
Another glimpse of hope, and this may seem a bit crazy, is the new Ralphie mascot for CU. I think she is so cute, and it is so exciting to see this 500 lb. buffalo running around the field. What is the hope? It is that this buffalo is such a unifying figure, and for a brief moment, over 40,000 people are in united excitement about a run around the stadium field.
This Advent, we pause and pray and light candles to open up to new relationships and hope. A hope that healing for the earth and the people on it will come – expectant of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Prayer: The Hope of God with us, help liberate us from complacency, preparing the way for hope with courage. May Hope be birthed within and through us this Advent. Amen.