Christian hope, the spirit that dominates the Advent/Christmas season, is not reserved merely for some splendid future yet to come. It is much more than an otherworldly matter, a promise of heavenly reward after death. Jesus does not ask us to wait until later, until the end for help and healing. Hope is the good news of transforming grace now. We are freed not only from fear of death but from the fear of life; we are freed for a new life, a life that is trusting, hopeful, and compassionate.