joy


Joy! What more is there to say on the morning after the Cubs won the World Series and after fighting their way back from a deficit in the series and an incredible, breathtaking Game 7?!

When I moved to Evanston from Hawaii in 1994, my first friends had a four-year-old and a baby on the way. All through that first summer, and in the years following, I remember Taylor in his Cubs outfit, hoping for one more chance to hit one in the back yard. They moved away but he—and the whole family—never stopped being Cubs fans. One boy, one family, one story among millions, holding hope through the years and now celebrating a shared dream become reality. I love the Nike video, “Goodbye Someday,” of a young boy doing play-by-play in his head, mapping out the Cubs’ win with the city skyline in the background. There is nothing quite like the delight of a long held collective hope finally fulfilled.

Hope. Definitions include: to cherish a desire with anticipation, to desire with expectation of obtainment, to expect with confidence. One author defines hopethe deep and abiding conviction that all shall be well. Think of the power of collective expectation, the profound conviction rooted in confidence that someday the Cubs would once again win the World Series. Generations of believers never witnessed their dream come true, and yet, they lived in unwavering hope. And their confidence, their trust, their hope is an integral part of the fulfillment of the dream.

We are not the only ones who live in hope. In the letter to the Romans, Paul writes: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. God, a dreamer too, yearns for all of creation to live together in love, joy and peace. In looking around at our world today, that feels like an outrageous hope, ludicrous even. Paul describes it this way:

Creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice—it was the choice of the one who subjected it—but in the hope that the creation itself will be set free from slavery to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of God’s children. We know that the whole creation is groaning together and suffering labor pains up until now. And it’s not only the creation. We ourselves who have the Spirit as the first crop of the harvest also groan inside as we wait to be adopted and for our bodies to be set free. We were saved in hope. If we see what we hope for, that isn’t hope. Who hopes for what they already see? But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience.

I know many of us despair that our world will ever reflect God’s dream, because what we see is so far from it. But like the generations of Cubs fans, the more we can focus on what that dream looks like and will feel like, as Taylor, and the little boy in the video and countless others like him, the more we can partner with its becoming by our very hope and by aligning our actions to that hope. And when it comes, as it will come, so deep and wide and great will be the joy, reverberating throughout all generations!
 
Hope to see you Sunday,

Elizabeth
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