hope

Hope in a bleak midwinter

'Where do we find hope in this bleak midwinter?' (Image by Jörg Vieli/Pixabay)

Canadians are struggling with the heaviness of this winter. The prospect of several more months with physical gathering restrictions is as depressing as the grey skies of southern Ontario in February. As a society, we have started to squabble, point fingers and shift blame.

Resting in the shadow of hope

‘Light,’ by Zoe Fretz, a Grade 8 student at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, Kitchener, Ont., who attends Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church, also in Kitchener.

‘It Matters,’ by Jaiden Du Plessis. The Grade 9 student at Menno Simons Christian School, Calgary, says, ‘The world has to work as one voice to show that things matter.’

‘The Light,’ by Rayna Pan. The Grade 8 student at Menno Simons Christian School, Calgary, says, ‘Remember to always look to the light to find hope.’

‘Tree of Hope,’ by Tara Yasemi. The Grade 8 student at Menno Simons Christian School, Calgary, says, ‘Hope is a connection to all these ideas.’

‘Untitled,’ by Ashley Skaar, a Grade 10 student at RJC High School, Rosthern, Sask.

‘Untitled,’ by Emma Martin, a Grade 7 student at Centennial Public School, Waterloo, Ont., who attends Elmira (Ont.) Mennonite Church.

‘Untitled,’ by Jesse Haines, a Grade 10 student at RJC High School, Rosthern, Sask.

Recently, I read a book that unsettled my sense of hope. 

Cultivating hope

'We can take mini-sabbaticals by stepping away from the computer, the smartphone, the newspaper and TV news. We disconnect, knowing that God is larger than our human efforts.' (Image by Shah Rokh/Pixabay)

In the first days of 2020, our newsfeeds were full: confrontations over a pipeline in western Canada, devastating fires in Australia, an earthquake in Puerto Rico, the death of 176 people whose airplane was shot down and speculations of a possible war in the Middle East. 

AMBS conference models practices for sustaining faith and hope

Daily opportunities for worship are an integral part of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary’s annual Pastors and Leaders Conference. Pictured, members of the seminary learning community lead participants in worship on Feb. 27, 2018. (AMBS photo by Jason Bryant)

With contentiousness and fracturing in the body of believers, and hostility and injustice all around, these are difficult days for church leaders, who are supposed to provide guidance for people struggling with the trials of the times while at the same time often wrestling with their own challenges.

Lament and Lego Parades

Sitting with the sadness. The third advent's theme was "Sadness Changes to Gladness." The part that is so hard to swallow, though, is that "changing to gladness" doesn't necessarily mean the sadness goes away. In fact, there are so many reasons to lament and be sad. Broken relationships, war, poverty, destruction of creation, unhealthy patterns of consumption, greed, and violence invade every aspect of our lives in one way or another.

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