Advent week 1: Hope
For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in HOPE that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. (Romans 8:20-21)
It seems that whenever we talk about hope, we have to begin with what we donít yet have. We donít have to look too hard for examples: broken health, broken relationships, friends and family who have died, frustrated desires, loneliness, confusion, fears. It feels almost inappropriate to think of all that we lack so soon after Thanksgiving. But it is amid the brokenness that hope means the most.
Hope is the first candle we light in the Advent season, a single bright flame in the dark. It reminds us of the sin and spiritual darkness of the world into which was born Jesus, the light of the world. Even still, itís not hard to find ourselves in a dark place, emotionally or spiritually. For many, Christmas is a difficult time, remembering someone or something theyíve lost. When things are going well, or just busy, itís easy to be satisfied with the world and indifferent toward hope. But when grief, pain, or confusion weigh heavily, hope is like a sharp ache of longing, and our hearts resonate with the glorious freedom that is still coming at Jesusí second Advent. And hope born from the promises of God is not an empty wish but a confident expectation.
This Advent season, this week, slow down and meditate on our 'blessed hope,' the restoration of our broken world.