Tag Archives: Anna

4 of 7: HOPE

idioms3 of 7: HOPE. Today I started my day with an idiom within a joke. “Have you heard about the cat who ate some cheese, breathed into a mouse hole, and waited with baited breath?” Don’t cha love idioms? They never mean what they say, but they express a sentiment so well. And….the our English language is full of them, No wonder immigrants pull their hair out trying to learn English.

Like usual, my mind took off on a tangent as I started thinking about all the idioms or axioms that surround the word HOPE. Needless to say, the first one that came to mind was a quote that I had used many times in the classroom: “HOPE for the best, prepare for the worst” Alexander Norton in the 1600’s. From there – it went downhill (see how often we use idioms???)…

axiomsThe Cleveland Browns are beyond HOPE….
If my paycheck doesn’t grow, we are out of HOPE
We are down to our last HOPE
Selling HOPE
Beyond HOPE….

Most of the time, ‘HOPE springs eternal’ in our country. People see the depressing news, eat their supper, take their kids to their sports practices or games, escape into TV land, lay their heads on a pillow and HOPE that tomorrow is better.than today. We get it naturally since our country was founded on Christian values (and yes, I know there are people who disagree with that statement, but I’ve done my own research and disagree with them).

“Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.” Lk 1:30

An old Greek axiom states: “If it were not for HOPE, the heart would break.” HOPE is that light in the darkness. Mary heard the angel speak, felt the changes within her. I know she must have had some pretty dark days – especially when she told Joseph what was transpiring. HOPE was the light she clung to as she walked this path virtually alone. God was with her. Angels were with her. But physically, she was walking a faith path…scared and alone. Luke never mentions her parents, Anna and Joachim No close friends are mentioned. Only Elizabeth who was also walking a faith path of her own. No wonder Mary went on a journey to visit her for a few weeks. Her heart was probably close to breaking.

Advent has a way of bringing the spiritual realm a little closer to the physical. It is our touchstone to a time when God and His Son made this amazing plan to build a new road into our world – a road with a bridge between our two dimensions A road that eventually – if we choose to walk on it – will lead us to grace, salvation, and “,,,Thy kingdom come…”  A road of HOPE.light-hope_00332387

3 if 7:HOPE

gettysburg10One of the hardest things for me to teach in English was grammar. For most students, it is tedious, boring and a “When-will-I-ever-use-this-so-why-do-I-have-to-know-it” exercise. I understand that thought process. In Mrs. Swartzwalter’s 8th grade English class, I was thinking approximately the same thing – especially when we started diagramming sentences. But the more we did it, the more it suddenly began to make sense. Parts of speech began to organize themselves in my brain and the visual pictures of diagraming started sub-sets of categories that served as an invaluable resouce when I became a teacher.

Hope can be a noun or a verb. A person, place or thing or an action. Needless to say, because it has been used so often down through the ages, forms of it have also branched off into the adjective [hopful] and adverb [hopfully] forms as well. I can only HOPE this makes sense.

Moses HOPED to see the promised land. Jacob HOPED to reunite with Esau. David HOPED to build a temple. Zarcharias HOPED to have a child. Simeon and Anna HOPED to meet the saviour before they died. A woman HOPED to be healed. Jesus HOPED that He would not have to drink from the cup. We all have HOPES, dreams, aspirations. We all trust at some point in time that our aspirations or dreams will come to fruition in our life times..

“…but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.…” Rom 8:24b-25

In the Bible, HOPE is more a verb than anything else. It is not a passive wish. It is not idle. It is not just sitting in our living room, watching TV, waiting for it to arrive in our lives. It is not an escape from reality. If our HOPE is Biblical, it is based on the trust that all God’s promises will be fullfilled. That kind of HOPE directs our paths into action – how we see ourselves – what values we hold – what we do with our time and gifts. Hope is active.

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. ~ Emily Dickinson, 1861light-hope_00332387