Advent is a time of waiting and hope. There is anticipation in Advent. We know that there is more to this life than what the world offers. We know the end of the story—Christ wins—Love is victorious; therein lies our hope. But the walk can be difficult. Life’s trials, pressures, and tragedies can stop us in our tracks. This year, particularly, has been difficult for millions of people around the world. It’s easy to lose hope in the face of so much suffering and uncertainty. And yet, as Jesus people, we are called to choose hope. More than that, we are called to carry the hope of Christ into a world that is fraught with situations in which hope seems to be gone. Jesus calls us to reach out to those who mourn, to those who hunger, to those who are imprisoned, to those who are vulnerable, to those who are alone and to bring them the good news that is Immanuel–God with us. How do people know that God is with them? We bring him to them. We bring hope.
The above image spoke to me, profoundly. One lone person (a woman, in my mind) standing at the edge of the ocean. An unlit lantern is at her feet, and she is watching the horizon over the waves that are rolling in an endless cycle at her feet. There is purpose to her waiting, for she has a light at the ready to point the way for whomever she is seeking beyond the shore. This, then, is what it means to be a Jesus follower. We search the horizon, light at the ready, to point the way for others.
Pray today that others find hope this Christmas season. Pray that your family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors will see the Lord’s goodness afresh.
Pray, too, for hope for those walking in darkness. Pray for the victims of violence and abuse. Pray for those who are enslaved and neglected. Pray for those who live in poverty. Pray for those who are homeless and hungry. Pray for those who live in war-torn nations. Pray that the hope of Christ will shine in the darkest corners of the world, our communities and our homes this Christmas.
Blessings and Peace,