And in the turning of the calendar, in the clatter and clang of celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another, a single word resonates, repeating itself in low, steady tones.
It speaks of anticipation, of excitement, of calm assurance of better days to come. It tells of nature's praise when God broke into the world as a tiny baby. Its chorus echoes from the mountains as the promise of all history was fulfilled...and is fulfilled again in each of us who hears it.
I expect I will revisit this word again and again in the coming year. I am already looking forward to breaking bread with dear loved ones around the Seder table in April as we remember deliverance. I anticipate the Day of Atonement, the Resurrection, the stories that are written in the Book of Life, but also written on my soul.
My soul has been adrift these past two years, so the image of hope as an anchor for my soul holds me safe, but also puts wings to my faith.
Hope with me in 2014. Anticipate. Expect. Be surprised.
Photo credit: Texas Photo Wrangler via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND