At the moment I am finding it hard to be hopeful. There seems to be so much going on in the world that is hopeless. So many dreadful things happening around us. Christmas should be a time of hope, but, despite my best efforts I am not feeling hopeful about the future at all.
When thinking about writing about Hope, two things came to mind. I don't know why, but the first was the character from the TV show Thirtysomething who was called Hope. Anyone else remember that show?
If I had had a daughter perhaps I would have called her Hope. It seems to me that it is a very optimistic name. There is also of course the trinity of Faith, Hope and Charity.
The second thing was the phrase "abandon hope all ye who enter here". This comes from the epic work by Dante, his Inferno, and is described as what is written over the entrance gates to hell.
Hope is optimism. The idea that good will triumph over adversity. The desire that good things will come. Without hope what do we have. Do we just accept that this is the way that it is, or do we want and look for and believe that there are better things to come. We hope for good.
We don't say, I hope that I will earn lots, have lots. Instead we hope for good things to come to someone, have a good holiday, that test results will have a positive outcome, that there will be a return to health, that better times are ahead.
Without hope life would be dismal. Imagine being in a situation where you knew that no matter how much you wanted it, how much someone deserved it there would be no way to improve a situation. No hope would be a very sad place to be.
Indeed, if we abandon hope then we might as well be in hell, for if we have no hope we have nothing.
Hope is the wish for blessings for others and for ourselves. Hope is looking to the future to better things to come, to improvement to good things and to happiness in life.
The birth of Jesus Christ bought hope to the world, for salvation and for good things to come.
So although we might feel hopeless at many times, I don't think that we should abandon hope, because then surely evil has won. At Christmas we should take comfort in the reminder that Jesus came to give us hope and that hope will triumph over bad in the end. We hope for good things yet to come.