Thursday, December 06, 2007

Romans 15:4-13

Advent 2 – Year A

Romans 15:4-13

Whatever was written in former days was written for our hope. I hope they knew that and kept some for themselves. It is possible to be hopeful for others without appropriating any for oneself.

Whatever we do in these days is done for the hope of those to come. I hope we are keeping some for ourselves. While many things benefit from being wholly given, hope is one exception as it is both larger and smaller than time.

Regardless of the hope end of things, what we are called to do is to live in harmony with one another.

Oh my, couldn't our work on behalf of the future have been something a bit less intimidating.

As we look back over the former days – harmony seems to be a real crapshoot. How might one be hopeful when we look at our track record so far? At best we can say that so far we have not annihilated ourselves yet.

Was this because of the thirty six righteous [lamed vov]? Though, since probably everyone has had a significant person that has kept their world going, the number is probably symbolic and for the sake of millions, the world goes on. This reverses the old story about Abraham bargaining G*D down to how few righteous were actually needed to save Sodom. Here we might wonder how many more righteous folks we need to bring hope to reality – 360? 3,600? 36,000? 36,000,000?

To avoid the necessary ambiguity of numerology that claims to be so solidly built, it may be best to follow Paul's dictum to simply welcome another as you have been welcomed to a journey larger than yourself. Simply welcome.

One resource you may want to look at is Paul Loeb's book The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear.

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