One of my favorite lines about fly fishing is a quote from John Buchan. He wrote,
The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.
Every time I cast a fly onto the surface of a stream, it is another in a series of occasions for hope—hope that a trout will rise to the fly, and I will feel its tug.
Fishing for trout is an act of hope.
In this season of the year, we talk about another kind of hope—Christmas hope. During Advent, we remember that the One who came once in Bethlehem will one day come again.
The words of Brennan Manning capture this hope:
Christmas is the promise that the God who came in history and comes daily in mystery will one day come in glory. God is saying in Jesus that in the end everything will be all right. Nothing can harm you permanently, no suffering is irrevocable, no loss is lasting, no defeat is more than transitory, no disappointment is conclusive.
What a hope we have!
I like to define Christmas hope this way: Hope is our confident expectation that what God says will one day be true.
Notice this definition of hope is different from how we often use the word. We might say:
“I hope we have a white Christmas this year.” Or,
“I hope I land a monster brown trout my next time out on the river.”
When we use the word in this way, what we’re really talking about is wishful thinking. What we hope for may happen, or it may not. Hope is merely wishful thinking.
Christmas hope is more than wishful thinking.
As believers, we live in the hope—a confident expectation—that the day will come when:
“… He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more.” (Revelation 21:4)
As people of hope we wait for that day to come in confident expectation. What do we do while we wait? We live each day hopefully, expectantly, faithfully.
Merry Christmas from the staff of Altar Fly Fishing!
- Read again Brennan Manning’s beautiful words about Christmas. Which phrase most gets your attention? Why?
- Think about how you use the word hope. Is it the same or different than Christmas hope—the confident expectation that what God says will one day be true?
- How does our Christmas hope speak to a particular need in your life this year?
- In the days ahead, carve out some time to quietly ponder the wonder-filled Scriptures of this season. Spend time in: Isaiah 2:1-5, 9:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25, 2:1-12; Luke 1:26-38, 2:1-20; John 1:1-18.
Steve Ebling | December 2022