One of the central issues of the season of Advent is that of hope. Hope is an expectant waiting. It’s not passive but active.
Hope, though is only as good as the object of that hope. If you’re hoping that a piece of wet tissue will hold a bowling ball, you have a misplaced hope.
These days I see people placing their hope in heroes more and more. It almost feels like we are regressing to the days of ancient armies who sent out heroes to do battle on their behalf.
In the Christian world people get very excited when a prominent politician, actor, musician, or athlete identifies as a Christian. They are immediately placed on the speaking circuit. Pulpits are opened and these men and women are welcomed as heroes. Inevitably, like all of us, they fall from grace.
It turns out that people, mere humans, are unreliable heroes.
Eugene Peterson rendered Isaiah 2:22 this way,
“Quit scraping and fawning over mere humans, so full of themselves, so full of hot air! Can’t you see there’s nothing to them?”
I love the way he interprets the Hebrew here. The picture of people “scraping and fawning over mere humans,” is so poetic and accurate. Think of how we crowd and scream for our heroes, whether it’s at a concert or a ball game. Look at how people who trust in politicians respond to their favorite candidate, they scrape and fawn.
These heroes of ours are full of themselves and full of hot air. There is nothing to them. Our hope is misplaced and it will fail.
Advent is about placing our hope in a promise that is as sure as the sunrise and moonrise.
Where is your hope?