Today we begin our celebration of Advent. Each Monday we will post a reflection on the weekly theme. We invite you to read the scriptures, say the prayer and meditate on the daily reflection with us on each day throughout the week as we celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ.
“But you promised to read a book before bed!” At 5 years old, Ethan is an effective negotiator when there’s something he wants. And he’s particularly effective at remembering my promises.
The season of Advent is all about promises – God’s promises for justice, for mercy, for providence, for salvation. As his people, Christians trust in God’s faithfulness in acting on his word. But what does this hope look like in my life on a daily basis? Is my hope passive or active?
Probably tired of pleading, Ethan is done with negotiating. Instead, he goes into his room, grabs a book and climbs into my lap. His action helps me fulfill my promise. His hope becomes assurance.
This is the type of hope to which Advent invites us. A hope that does not simply sit back and plead with God. Instead, Advent reminds us to use our creativity and imagination to bring love, justice, mercy and peace into our world. To become the hands and feet of our God as he fulfills his promises.
To hope an active hope.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness — on them light has shined.
Psalm 27:7-9, 11, 13-14
O Lord, hear my voice when I call;
have mercy and answer.
Of you my heart has spoken:
“Seek his face.”
It is your face, O Lord, that I seek;
hid not your face.
Dismiss not your servant in anger:
you have been my help.
Instruct me, Lord in your way;
on an even path lead me.
I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living.
Hope in him, hold firm and take heart.
Hope in the Lord!
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
Come, Lord Jesus, with your mighty power,
because it is only by your hand that we find rescue
from the dangers and evils of our sins.
Come, our promised Redeemer, and deliver us,
for you live eternally with God the Father
and in unity with the Holy Spirit.
Come, O Holy One, for you alone are our hope
and our salvation.
Monday: What are some areas of your life that give you hope? Thank God for those places. Try to make some extra room for them this week.
Tuesday: What are some areas of your life that you feel hopeless? Where are you waiting on God to show up? Ask God to enter into those places this week.
Wednesday: Allen talked about our action initiating God’s. In the areas you thought about yesterday, what can you do while you are waiting on God?
Thursday: Think again about the places you receive hope. How can those places help you in the areas you feel hopeless or are waiting on God? How could those places offer hope to others?
Friday: Where is an place you can offer some hope to someone? Try and do one tangible thing this weekend offering hope to someone else. Be creative!