Tuesday, March 17, 2009


The early church father Tertullian defined hope as “patience with the lamp lit.” In the midst of the trials and tribulations of life, hope is not simply wishing that things might be different. Hope is not simply passively waiting for something to change. Hope is a confident expectation that “God is able to do what he has promised.” Hope involves active waiting, waiting that anticipates the fulfillment of God's promise in our lives. Hope is patience with the lamp lit!
This morning’s reading from Romans describes the unshakable hope that Abraham displayed in the face of seemingly insurmountable circumstances. Abraham was very old as was his wife, Sarah, and yet God promised them the gift of a son. Through their son, Isaac, God would make Abraham “the father of many nations.” Ultimately, after many years of waiting, God’s promise was fulfilled. The intermediate years included many trials and mistakes on the part of Abraham and Sarah, and yet they remained steadfast in their hope – they remained steadfast in their confident expectation that God would be faithful to his promise.

Today, let us pray for patience with the lamp lit – let us pray for hope.

O God of hope, fill us, we pray, with all joy and peace in believing,
that we may ever abound in hope by the power of your Holy Spirit,
and show forth our thankfulness to you in trust and courageous lives.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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