Posted: 15 December 2013

Advent: Hope isn't passive

Today we begin the third week of Advent. During these seven days we will focus on the theme of 'hope' and Isaiah 35.1-10

As a young man, Matthew was a teacher in Zimbabwe. Here, he shares a little of his experience, as he encourages us to reflect on the hope of Advent.


With fire in our bellies

I doubt if the critics were terribly impressed, but our 'performance' that humid evening at a Southern African nightclub meant everything to me.

As apartheid teetered on the brink, I gave Eddy Grant’s 'Gimme Hope Jo'anna' everything I had.

With revolutionary outrage at what people were capable of doing to each other, we sang that night for hope, and asserted the determination and youthful confidence to deliver it.

The hope of Advent is equally as secure, for it speaks to a dream of humanity freed from our shackles to enjoy the dignity and grace for which we were created.

For Christians, 'hope' can never be just an attitude of mind, an analysis of future potential, an exaggerated hope, or a last roll of the existential dice.

Hope isn't passive, but an active yearning for the world transformed, with the tenacious agitation to fulfil it.

This confident expectation, the dream of Isaiah, challenges and leads us to be co-conspirators with God to strive for a world where all are free, where love and beauty can thrive.

The Advent hope obliges us therefore to confront all that distorts human flourishing and to honour the child within.

At The Children’s Society, sadly too often we see the dignity and promise in children denied the right to prosper.

Too many young people are seemingly abandoned by society to the devastating effects of poverty, or are neglected by the very people they trust.

We are determined to be the catalyst of restitution.

The ‘hope’ in our work isn’t just an idea or a dream.

It’s our rallying call to honour the full potential and dignity of every child, our resolute confidence that hope and human dignity will sing the final song, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.


Our Advent calendar blog

This story is part of our Advent calendar blog

By Matthew Reed - Leadership team

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