“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
I keep thinking about this poem by Emily Dickinson and that image of hope living in us like a bird, singing continually in the soul.
I've come to realise that the beautiful thing about hope is that doesn’t require us to do anything; rather it is a state of being. The hope that Jesus gifts us is born out of love, trust and connection.
We hope for our children and grandchildren’s futures; we hope for a restored, healthy environment that flourishes; we hope for inequalities and injustices to be righted, we hope for unity and peace in a divided people, we hope for lives with purpose and meaning.
Living with hope is living with knowledge that we have a loving creator, an advocate - God - who is working all things together for good - that what we see right now isn’t all there is, that the best is yet to come, and that we all have a part to play in our shared future.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13)
Let's pray as we light the first candle on the Advent wreath, the candle of Hope:
thank you for the hope we have in you:
the hope that does not disappoint.
Hope that is born out of love,
trust and intimate relationship.
Hope not only in what we see
but what we don’t see as well.
Help us to provide HOPE for our family,
neighbours and strangers this
Advent season through words
and acts of kindness, generosity
and love. Amen.
Hello friends, for the last little while I've been working on a resource exploring the beautiful season of Advent at home called Exploring Advent - it follows a similar pattern to my Embracing Easter workbook and contains four weeks worth of reflections, scriptures, poems, activities and recipes designed to help us slow down and savour this season of hopeful anticipation and expectant joy...
I feel the need, this year more than ever, to take time away from news feeds and social media reels, from busyness and to-do lists - to seek simplicity in my home and faith leading up to Christmas. To see Advent as an opportunity to nourish ourselves; to contemplate the truly wonderful gifts Jesus brought us with his birth: of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.
I want to soak in these gifts, remember what this season is truly about and then to share them with my loved ones, neighbours, community and world. Will you join me in exploring Advent this year?
ABOUT the author
Emily Clare Sims is a farmer and mama to three young boys. Each day she looks for ways to notice beauty, contemplate her faith and savour the seasons...