Advent Reflection: Week One

Hope

by Joe Watkins

The season of Advent has begun. As we look toward Christmas, and anticipate the celebration of the coming of Jesus, we enter into the story of Scripture. We stand beside the people of Judah and cry to the heavens, “O, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! (Isaiah 64:1)” In the midst of captivity we strain forward in the darkness to look for that one spark of hope. We hold on to the promises of God to never leave us nor forsake us, but instead to provide a way of salvation, to step in and make all things right again.

For now, we have only to wait, knowing that the time for God to act is near. We turn our gaze toward Christmas hanging on to the one thing we have, hope.

Hope in the promised Messiah.

Hope that our sin and captivity will not overcome.

Hope that in God we can rise above the bleak and the mundane to soar like eagles.

Hope that there is more than the rush of greed and the glut of consumption that is Christmas today.

Amid famine and war, economic upheaval and political turmoil we strain onward in the darkness, looking for a shimmering light of the Messiah’s hope. Amid petty desires, and dreams of more stuff to fill our homes look to the horizon for the breaking in of the hope that Jesus can call us to more. Just as the bleakness seems too much a match is struck. A baby is born. A heavenly host sings, “Hallelujah”

At last, hope springs forth!

As Advent moves forward, can we be the people who declare the coming of the Lord is hope? Can we proclaim the hope of the first advent as we anticipate the goodness of his second advent to finally set right injustice and forever vanquish the evil of this world? Can the church be a people who shine out the beacon of hope in the midst of a dark and broken world. Where the culture cries for more, can we be people who hope in something greater? Where the culture devours can we give? Where the culture rushes on, frenzied by the traditions of retailers can we be a people of rest and the evidence that in the coming of Jesus people can find hope that there is life beyond the madness?

Let us shine in the midst of the madness as we wait for the coming of Jesus. May we be a people of expectation and light as we look toward the one hope we all have, that God alone is moving to make a way once again.

Advent has begun. Let us rejoice, let us hope!

An Advent Collaboration

This Advent, we’re doing something special. Angie Rines, Dwana Back, and Gwynne Watkins have all agreed to contribute an Advent reflection that will be posted on Monday of their week of Advent. We will all be working together for the final post of advent to celebrate the arrival of Jesus! I am excited to have new voices sharing as a part of this blog and look forward to hearing from each of them in the coming weeks.

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