Inspiration 2018-11-18

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. — John 17:17 (NIV)
Advent and Hope

Advent and Hope

Each year at this time we have the opportunity to build hope, to spread hope, to share hope.

I was surprised to see this week, as I prepared a message for this past Sunday, that the cries of earnest expectation and hope, which were provided as Scripture selections in the Revised Common Lectionary (https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu//), came from a place of desolation, despair.

I have contact with people for whom the holidays are anything but hopeful. There is profound sadness in many lives that is stirred up at holiday time. You may be one of them. Almost certainly you know and love somebody for whom this is the case.

So, it was encouraging to see that these cries for God to “come down and make the mountains shake” did not come from the same place that some of the more shallow expressions of “triumph” in today’s evangelical climate seem to originate. They rather come from a place of shared humanity in despair and desolation. Tears are the seeds of joy.

So, when I am stuck in my own despair over this particular holiday season, and I happen to run in to a woman who buried her son 10 Christmases ago (I did the service), and she says that this is the first holiday season since in which she has found any hope, I not only realize that there are people suffering far more than I am (though my pain is seen by God too), but that hope really does spring eternal. Life just keeps pushing up through death.

People who sat in darkness have seen a great light. Happy Advent. Feel it, share it. If you can’t do that, I hope you receive it from someone.

Love,

B

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