The beauty of pregnancy is not only about the miracle of a baby but the exultant hope of seeing a part of your hand in creation. Vince Lombardi says that “The joy is in creating, not maintaining.” Each new day or each morrow increases the crescendo of expectation - especially when it is a new and excited mother. This mother would, daily, long to hold the baby she’s been hoping for. An adoring father cannot wait to see a gift so tender and so fragile, but yet so full of hope.
Over the past couple of years, I have been blessed with seeing some of our young couples expand their families. The excitement that greets each birth is infectious. And we share in the joy of every birth because we can tap into the hope that a little child brings into our world - however big or small. It is that same hope that Christ, by his incarnation, brought into our world, a world torn apart by strife and untold hardship. The good news of the incarnation is that God believes in our tomorrows. God believes in God’s future, and so as chaotic, desperate, dispirited, and uneven as our present circumstances may be, tomorrow is pregnant because God wills a healing, mending, and hopeful life and world into being. How pregnant are you? In the midst of all the turmoil, how hopeful are you?
Many years ago, I took my two older daughters to watch the Broadway show Annie in New York City. That was my first, and only, Broadway show I have seen. It was magical. My daughters loved it, and so did I. We all fell in love with the song Tomorrow, and we sang it a lot. "The sun will come out... Tomorrow!" Just thinking about Tomorrow can clear the cobwebs.
I love ya
You're always a day away.....
The very idea that tomorrow is always a day away gives me something to hang on to, to keep going, to hold on, and not to let go... to hope that things are going to look better tomorrow. Hearing about more vaccines coming, and our two parishioners, Matt and Sarah, who are helping parishioners with registration for the vaccines, give me hope for the morrow.
Our reality is one where we live on hope, thrive on hope, and are sustained by hope because we know that tomorrow is pregnant - pregnant with possibilities, pregnant with life, and pregnant with promises beyond our wildest measure. Tomorrow is pregnant because it is always a day away, and it only takes a moment in a day for life to lift the lid off our sourness and desperation.
This Sunday, March 7th, we will again begin indoor, in-person worship at Christ Church. We will have our usual two services at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. (We have limited seating capacity but if you plan to join us, please click here to register) I don’t remember the last time we ran this service schedule; it might have been about a year ago now. Looking back, it has been more than an awful, long year. Many are those who are still suffering from the trauma of this pandemic. The vaccine has restored our sense of hopefulness, but we do have some ways to go.
Last August, a parishioner shared with me an article from the Washington Post: “With No End to the Pandemic in Sight, Coronavirus Fatigue Grips America.” That article contained a quote: “It’s difficult when you think you have a light at the other end of the tunnel to look forward to, and then all of a sudden you realize it’s a train.” This quote has stuck with me since, and it is precisely due to the fact that it recounts a hope that is continually being dashed, hope that never materializes, hope that looks like water but turns out to be a mirage. And yet, I still want to believe in a pregnant tomorrow, but I recognize that it is not easy to simply hope when in the midst of dire challenges. But if you aren’t pregnant with tomorrow, what else can you be pregnant with? Anxiety? Depression? Worry?
When our souls are heavy within us - which they often are, downcast within us; which they often are, troubled within us; which they often are, disquieted within us - may we never fail to remind ourselves of the promises of the God whose mercies are new every morning. That sure was the hope of the writer of Lamentations 3:22-23 “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” For this reason, may we never forget our suffering; for it is only when we can lament our suffering that hope can spring alive.
The writer of Lamentations had also experienced some trauma but was equally hopeful, and like the writer, we should be able to hold in tension, our trauma, and our hope. The question then is, how can we be hopeful in our suffering? If we are to remember our suffering or trauma, the one thing we can do is to refuse to open up ourselves to let our trauma overtake our hope - for this is why we believe that tomorrow is pregnant - and like adoring parents, we await all the possibilities of new birth.
I learned many years ago that you only give up when you have nothing to give. I am sure that we each have something to give… if nothing at all, to believe in tomorrow and believe that tomorrow is pregnant with all the possibilities imaginable.
If you ask me, my attitude has been to keep a grip on hope... for the sun will come up tomorrow.