Hope seems hard to come by these days. We make our small efforts at turning ourselves away from destroying our earth, by recycling our tin and plastic, only to hear that what we thought we were recycling is being thrown into the ocean. It seems sometimes that the obstacles of consumption, hatred, and fear are too great and hope is hard to keep up.
Hope, we read in Scripture, is a gift of the Spirit of God, along with peace, patience, trust, gentleness, encouragement, love, faith, and others. A gift of the Holy Spirit. Given for the building up of the body for vitality, life, and gifting to others. The gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was not given for the disciples alone. That’s pretty clear from the ways the gift of Spirit showed up, in speaking the languages of the people who needed to hear it, for the common good, for the intimacy, relationships, the unity of the Spirit.
I want to be filled with that gift of hope, God. Because I certainly cannot conjure it up on my own. There is a toughness in me, built up by privilege, that I feel I must maintain. I deserve it, I tell myself. I can’t let too much caring in. It would defeat that tough skin I’ve developed, my expectation of a certain way of life. I know how the gift of the Holy Spirit breaks down that tough skin, that way of privilege, that Grip on my money and lifestyle. Yet, I long for the gift of hope, the gifts of the Spirit that will also let in all the care of the earth and the care of my neighbor, the kin-dom of God.