The familiar carol rings:
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
A thrill of hope…yet some days hope feels like a discipline, something to hang on to for dear life as we toss, washed and worn, by the cosmic spin cycle.
Still, I think of children on Christmas Eve, hoping for the gifts that will be under the tree when they awake. They rightly hope, because they know they are loved and that their loved ones will make sure there will indeed be gifts, however so humble. Those children, they thrill with hope. Beyond the annual Christmas joy-filled celebration, their hope makes the family Christmas services hum with anticipation.
…the weary world rejoices. The weary soul rejoices. Has my soul become too weary to thrill, to rejoice? How many of us slog through the burn-out day after day, attempting to drown out the noise, self-caring and self-medicating by turns, never feeling fully refreshed? When even rejoicing feels like a forced discipline, how do we rest our weary souls?
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Yonder: over there, in the distance. At least, tomorrow, after we go to sleep on Christmas Eve to awake to the sure knowledge that Jesus Christ has been born. Or, at least, New Year’s Day with a whole new year stretching before us.
We’ve had a rough go for the, oh, last couple years. For various reasons–political, professional, and personal–each of us (and yes, me me me) has had to work hard to hope, to thrill, to rejoice, to refresh, to wait for the yonder. I’m hoping we can let go of the past and move with increased joy into the yonder of 2019.
I have no idea what that might look like. I’m not one for resolutions, just for taking the next right step as firmly as I can and resetting when that step falters as steps occasionally do. However, I received some end-of-year encouragement from my daily Bible reading:
Sing to the Lord a new song.
Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful.
Psalm 149:1 (NLT)
…she laughs without fear of the future.
For now, trepidation comes more easily than laughter. And so I will keep at hope, rejoicing, singing, and laughing, intentionally injecting each day with prayer and love and moments of happiness.