Advent is a season of hope and expectation and preparation.  I think we could use a good dose of that right now.  In a year that has marked worldwide fear, disappointment, anger, frustration and grieving, we hunger for hope.


What are you hoping for?  Most people are looking forward to a “return to normal”, though I am not convinced many were all that happy or content before CoVID-19.  Once we are physically through the pandemic, it will take longer for our emotional and mental health to catch up.  Some are hoping for smaller glimmers of life before the shutdowns – seeing a friend or family member in person or going to a restaurant or theater.  We are not there yet, but we are one day closer.


When Jesus was born, the Israelites had been waiting for generations for the Messiah to arrive.  They endured years of control by foreign powers.  They lived on the margins of whatever empire to which they were subservient.  To hope is not always an easy task, but the Israelites continued to carry that hope to the next day. 


This hope galvanized the Israelites in the past and will do the same for us today.  While we may look forward to a vaccine and the return to normal, as Christians, our hope goes beyond that desire.  We hope for the fullest expression of the kingdom of God.


Pastor Carey Nieuwhof states, “The gospel gives us the greatest reasons to hope.  We don’t just cling to an intellectual claim or proposition.  Our hope       isn’t based on an emotion or feeling.  It lives in a person who beat death itself and who loves us deeply enough to literally go through hell to rescue us.  So what were you discouraged about again?  Because hope is anchored in resurrection, it is resilient.”


Have a Blessed Advent Season,


Pastor John