Spiritual Disciplines: The Holy Habit of Hope (@longingtobeholy)

Jeremiah. There’s certainly some weird stuff in there. Some pretty sombre stuff, too. And some fairly brutal messages. But apart from everything else, there’s one thing that oozes out of Jeremiah, and that’s hope. Of course, there’s the classic, oft-quoted (and occasionally pulled out of context) 29:11 – ‘…plans to give you hope and a future…’ It’s a verse I’ve loved for years.

But there’s also that stunning point, just on in chapter 31 – “The time is coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant…” It’s a catch-your-breath sort of moment. A promise. A new promise. A shaft of light in the darkness.  Back in verse 3 of chapter 31, we read, “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love…”

http://12baskets.co.uk/view/images/marked-with-hope

http://12baskets.co.uk/view/images/marked-with-hope

Is hope something you have, or something you do? Is hope a habit, or a gift? Or is it something you do because of something you have?

Here in Jeremiah, we find a promise from the past that gives hope for the future. A reminder of an everlasting love that means the new promise can be trusted.

And at Advent, there is an echo of that same combination. We look back to the birth, and the certainty of that first coming points to a hope of a second coming. A hope of something new. Not simply a new promise, but a promise that all things will be made new. We have been given hope.

Do we hope?

Do we express our hope in our interactions online?

Here’s hoping.

About Nick Parish

Nick is a stay at home Dad who’s slowly learning that this fact doesn’t need to be justified by adding things like, ‘I’m writing a book’, and ‘I’m a Special Constable with Derbyshire Police’ (though both these facts are true…) He is heavily outnumbered by girls during term time, living in a boarding school in the Midlands. He grew up (ish) in Pakistan, returning to England at the age of 14. Though he’s happy to think of both places at home, he keeps reminding himself that he’ll never really be home this side of eternity. He is married to Anna, who runs the boarding house in which they live, and they have two boys, Joshua and Luke. He blogs at longingtobeholy.wordpress.com and Tweets @longingtobeholy