Hope in waiting
In many Christian traditions the term Advent is not considered but it’s important as it is the four weeks (Sundays) leading up to Christmas.
I grew up in the Pentecostal tradition and I am thankful for that, but I had no idea about Advent. In recent years the Lord has guided me to learn more about the orthodoxy of Christianity and I have discovered so much rich heritage that I had no idea existed. I have found a certain freedom of the Holy Spirit by learning the background of our faith.
So, as we arrive at this time of the year that is called Advent, keep in mind that HOPE is the theme throughout the next four weeks. As we read in Luke 21:25-28, 34-36:
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.
“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
The Season of Advent
Here we are at the First Sunday of Advent. I can’t believe so much time has passed so quickly. It doesn’t seem that long since I was writing about Advent last year about this time and here we are once again.
So, I suggest you spend some time to reflect on this past year. How have things changed for you? How are you doing this year compared to last year? Do you have more hope this year as compared to last year? If so, why? What do you look forward to in the new year ahead?
Well, the questions could be endless but, sometimes we just need to not project in our thinking and live life for the moment. That means we are careful what we do now as it will definitely affect our future. So, consider your future when making today’s decisions.
In this Gospel passage we see that Jesus is doing some projecting about His return to this earth. We know that He came the first time as a babe in the manger. That was quite an introduction into this world as Mary and Joseph were doing their civic duty, as were other citizens, and all the rooms were taken as you will no doubt hear in a nativity play soon!
Jesus is talking about His Second Return and gives us insight to what that will be like. This may sound daunting, but it’s important to note that His message is about HOPE. Not despair but hope.
As humans, we need and desire hope. We need hope in order to move ahead in life and know that we can attain whatever we strive for.
The Season of Advent is, above all, a season of hope. And hope is a virtue that is sorely needed in our world and our Church today. The scripture readings for this season repeatedly invite us to keep hope alive.
Luke 21 tells us that, even amidst the darkness we see in the world, we can stand up straight and raise our heads because we believe that Christ’s redeeming grace is indeed present in the world and in our lives.
If you live in Greensburg, Indiana, please join us every Sunday at 10 am this month to celebrate Advent. We look forward to seeing you at FaithPoints Church.