11/30/21

NIGHT PRAYER: Tuesday 11/30


Reflecting on cultural and political revolution, theologian Rubem Alves offers these words on hope. I find his thoughts especially apt for the perennial revolution for which Advent is preparing us: the coming of Christ in our lives and again at the end of time.  Today's Night Prayer and song follow after Alve's words...

What is hope?
It is the presentiment
that imagination is more real
and reality is less real
than it looks.

Hope is the hunch
that the overwhelming brutality of facts
that oppress and repress us
is not the last word.

It is the suspicion that reality is more complex
than the realists want us to believe -
that the frontiers of the possible
are not determined by the limits of the actual -
and in a miraculous and unexplained way,
life is opening up creative events
which will open the way
to freedom and resurrection.

But the two – suffering and hope –
must live from each other.
Suffering without hope
produces resentment and despair.
But, hope without suffering
creates illusions, naivete and drunkenness.

So let us plant dates -
even though we who plant them will never eat them.*

We must live by the love of what we will never see.
That is the secret discipline.

It is the refusal to let our creative act
be dissolved by our need for immediate sense experience
and it is a struggled commitment
to the future of our grandchildren.

Such disciplined hope
is what has given prophets, revolutionaries and saints,
the courage to die for the future they envisage.
They make their own bodies
the seed of their highest hopes.
  

*Date palms don't bear fruit for 7-10 years after planting!

Lord, I'm so easily weighed down
by my struggles, my burdens
and the harsh realities of daily life...

Sometimes, I think I'll lose hope in you
    in tomorrow, 
    in others,
    and in myself
so I need you to help me trust,
to help me hope
that the peace I imagine,
the peace I pray for,
the peace you promise
is stronger and greater 
than any of my problems...
 
Let hope be my hunch, Lord:
    that my future's not limited 
        by my present trials;
    that the troubles of the moment
        won't have the last word;
    that my burdens are truly
        a prelude to joy...
 
Give me hope 
    in the midst of suffering, Lord:
I know that's the path of your love,
    I know it's the way to peace... 

Help me see, Lord, 
how my troubles prepare me today
    for your coming, the advent of peace,
for the gift of your presence,
    the harvest of hope,
        my hunch proved right by your grace...
 
Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake
and watch over me while I asleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...

Amen.

There Is A Hope by Stuart Townend 

If a video doesn't appear below, click here!



  

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