Stories of Hope – December 17

12 17Every human act, every Christian act, is an act of hope. But that means you must be men and women of the present, you must live this moment – really live it, not just endure it – because this very moment, for all its imperfection and frustration, because of its imperfection and frustration, is pregnant with all sorts of possibilities, is pregnant with the future, is pregnant with love, is pregnant with Christ. -Walter J. Burghardt

Pregnancy was hard for me. It was tough to “really live” the present moment and “not just endure it.” “Morning sickness” makes it sound cute…trust me, nothing about it was cute.

And yet, cells were dividing. Organs were forming. Each week, the baby was a new fruit or vegetable. We looked online with eager anticipation as “it” changed from a lentil to an apricot to an avocado to a melon. It was fascinating!

In this moment, too, unbeknownst to us, something is growing. Maybe more than one thing! (Our friends with twins loved to remind us that until that first ultrasound, you don’t know how many babies are in there…)

As we work hard, as we serve our community, as we play, as we worship, as we experience all of the present moment’s “imperfection and frustration,” God is at work within us. Beautiful possibilities we could never dream are already in the works.

  1. When have you been pleasantly surprised by the path of your life? How was God at work?
  2. Can you imagine that the “imperfection and frustration” of the present moment will not last forever? Are there ways you can cope with the present, knowing that God is moving you toward a different future?

Let us pray. God of new life, help us to endure the discomfort and insecurity of the present moment. Give us glimpses of your future, which is already growing. Help us to wait patiently and trust that your will for us is on its way. Amen.


All italicized quotes, poems, and prayers come from An Advent Sourcebook (Liturgy Training Publications/Chicago, IL, 1986).

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