From “A Gospel of Hope” by Walter Brueggemann
As Paul speaks of the God of hope who gives new futures out of love, he knew about a world of despair that trafficked in brutality. And so do we. The world of despair believes that there are no new gifts, no fresh generosity, no possibility of newness or forgiveness, and so life becomes a zero-sum game to see who can stay the longest on top of the heap, all the while knowing that there will be no good outcome to the futile rat race. Well, here is the news. Out beyond that despair that sanctions road rage and violence against the poor and war and ruthless exploitation that leaves one exhausted if not half dead, there is an alternative world bodied in Jesus. It is a world of new gifts and fresh starts grounded in divine forgiveness and sustained by generosity. That world is on offer in this one who is about to be born among us.