Hope with a Capital H

I enjoy watching movies, but even more, I love paying attention to movies, to their common themes that cross genres and generations. From animated children's tv shows to blockbuster action flicks, it has become a game among some friends of mine to "spot the hope quote" before it happens. Bonus points are awarded for saying "hope" at the same time as it is said on screen for a movie or show you have never seen before. The classic quote is Princess Leia, "Help me, Obiwan, you're my only hope," (from A New Hope, to really hammer home the theme) but in so many forms of video media, at a dark moment of the plot, one of the characters will remind the others, and the audience, of the importance of Hope. If you listen carefully to the characters, you can almost hear the capital H on Hope; sometimes the idea sneaks in before the Big Hope Moment, but you can always tell when it is the most meaningful utterance. 

Hope and fear are two sides of the same coin: these two emotions are indelibly connected. Where you have fear of the past or present, but a dream for something else, you have hope. Hope is a gift we give ourselves when we remember the teachings of our faith that promise a better way to live and be with one another. The converse is also true: if you have hope for the future, you may fear that the wished-for outcome may not come to pass, and this fear can obscure the dream, the hope. All those movies and shows, all the hope the fuels the protagonists, each one also fears deeply their revolution may not come to pass, but they keep going. They exist with both the fear and the hope, and in courage move toward the dream. 

What do you fear? What causes anxious adrenaline to course through you, raises your blood pressure, or immobilizes you? What does this fear tell you about yourself, who you are in this moment in time? Where there is fear, there is hope and a dream as well: what is your fear obscuring from your vision? What do you dream might come to be in your life?

Sunday Spoiler: In the gospel lesson for Sunday, The Pharisees warn Jesus that Herod wants to kill him, but Jesus has a response to the threat that reads particularly without fear. Jesus calls Herod a fox and refers to the city of Jerusalem and all its inhabitants as little chicks that Jesus wants to gather close as a mother hen. He also foretells his death in Jerusalem. Where is the hope in this odd little passage?

~Rev. Andrea Joy Holroyd

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