On the four Sundays leading up to Christmas we light Advent candles—one candle per week, each with a different word associated with it: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.
Usually the first Sunday of Advent falls on the same date as an important Canadian sporting event: the Grey Cup. [The championship game for the Canadian Football League.] Usually we host a gathering of neighbourhood friends for a Grey Cup party involving unhealthy food and beer. A kind of Canadian Superbowl party. At some point in the evening, we still the TV, quiet the conversation, and take time to be peaceful, to appreciate each other’s friendship, and to light the candle of Hope.
This year the Canadian Football League did not play at all due to COVID. There was no Grey Cup. There was no gathering of friends.
We lit the candle of Hope, but something was missing.
But that’s when we feel hope, isn’t it? When we feel that something is missing. That’s when we yearn.
This year, there is a whole lot of yearning going on. So . . . many . . . things . . . we are missing.
In these times I try to remember that the sunshine side of hope is faith. That’s when we relax in the knowledge that all shall be well.
When we hope, our bodies are taut, we lean forward with fists clenched. In faith, we relax, drop our shoulders, breathe . . .
We hope because something is missing. We have faith because someday, somehow, something’s coming. Get ready.