A Season of hope…
Where there is light, there is hope. Where there is hope there, we find God.
I love Christmas, I mean I really love Christmas. Always have – always will.And it seems to me that we need Christmas now more than ever before.
Anxiety has always been part of human history and there will always be much to be anxious about…that goes without saying. And there will always be reasons to desire new “seasons of hope.”
As we prepare to remember the birth of Jesus, to embrace a new season of hope, oh how easy it is to allow the distractions of the season to dampen that hope and to get lost in our anxieties. How easy it is to forget that real meaning of the incarnation – God in human form entering into our history.
That my friends is what started Christmas and that is what keeps it going. Hope…the hope that God will always be with us.
The old testament prophets delivered messages to those around them whose fears and anxieties were as real as ours and whose need for “hope” was a strong then as it is today.
On the second Sunday of Advent the church prays: Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
We could consider – who the prophets in our lives have been – those who have offered us hope in our distress, who were there in time of need, who laughed and cried with us, who encouraged us to just try a little bit harder, who kicked us in the butt when we wallowing in our personal dramas. All those personal prophets who reminded us that God was indeed with us and that there’s always reason to hope.
We could, we should – think about them, appreciate them and when possible thank them. Yet there’s something more important. Look for prophets outside ourselves, I suggest we consider that each of us is a prophet with a message to deliver, crying out in the wilderness of a hurting world. We may be approaching a new season of hope, but with that hope comes a new season of expectation that we will with God’s help be both messenger and message in a world that is in pain and desperately in need of hope.
The greatest challenge of faith in our hurting world, and yes we all hurt, and yes God hurts with us – is to remember that indeed there is hope.O come, O come Emmanuel…
Be the messenger that goes telling it on the mountain that God is with us and in God all things are possible. Let our every action our every word be a statement of hope in a hurting world. Let your hope be a beacon of light.
Go then and be profits sharing the message that yes, in God all things are possible…we just need to give God permission to be a part of our lives. With God there will always be seasons of hope.
Perhaps that permission – asking God to be a part of our lives is the greatest expectation of all.