As I was thinking about the Advent season this year, I saw a Christmas card that highlighted the words from a favorite Christmas Carol, O Holy Night. The words...a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices...just seemed to leap off the card and resonated with me. After the recent shootings in Paris, Colorado, and California, the world feels weary, broken, hopeless. And yet, the world was a weary place several thousands years ago when a baby was born in a manger, the long hoped for Messiah, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.
This past Sunday, the hope candle, was lit on the Advent wreath in our home and in our church. I love the word, hope, and all it means. Hope is not mere wishing, but expectant waiting. As Max Lucado said, "Hope is not what you'd expect, it is what you would never dream. It is a wild, improbable tale with a pinch-me-I'm dreaming ending...Hope is not a granted wish or a favor performed; no, it is far greater than that. Is is a zany, unpredictable dependence on God who loves to surprise us out of our socks and be there in the flesh to see the reaction." Don't you love that? Don't these words fill you with hope?
So, perhaps, in our weary world that seems dark and hopeless, we can be watching and waiting with hope and peace that only God can give. A favorite verse of mine is Romans 15:13, May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Hope is a gift that He gives to us, that enables us to face another day, another Advent season, knowing that He is at work, though we may not be able to see Him. Like Mary, the mother of Jesus, we have no idea what He has in store for us, but we do know that he is our Immanuel, God with us. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. I'll leave you with this wonderful rendition of Mary, Did you know? by Pentatonix.
May your Advent season be filled with hope! Warmly, Gracia