“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
These lines might not be a bad lens through which to read today’s Romans text. Christ, responding to the “God of hope” “has become a servant of the circumcised.” So John recalls the time when Jesus “got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.… After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord– and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet’” (13:4-14).
Jesus had so many reasons to be discouraged with this lot (with us). But that thing with feathers…
So it’s more than appropriate that “May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit” be one of the sentences with which Morning Prayer can send us out into our day (BCP 60, 102).