Romans 8:12-17 (NRSV)
Verse 12So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh- Verse 13for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Verse 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. Verse 15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" Verse 16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
Verse 17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ-if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
When I consider the events of this past year, hope is not usually the first word that comes to my mind. In many ways, this year has been a tremendous struggle for most of us. People have lost connections with each other, they’ve lost jobs, and some have even lost loved ones. For those who have lost loved ones, adding to the loss is the inability to gather together to celebrate and remember that person’s life. It has been a challenging, fearful time, threatening our hope.
But even in the midst of struggle, hope can flourish when we claim the Spirit’s witness to us, that whatever comes, we are still God’s children—we are never alone. Though we tend to think of hope as a personal experience, the truth is hope cannot survive in isolation. Hope needs community. People need each other for hope to thrive. It is through others, joined together as God’s chosen ones, that the Spirit of God continues to come to us and breathes life into hope.
Holy One, you have made us your heirs and called us from fear into hope. Grant that through the gift of the Spirit we may rely on each other so that hope may flourish. Amen.