First Sunday in Advent

Today’s Word: ‘HOPE’ as in…  The season of Advent is a season of longing for hope. Václav Havel was a writer and a former dissident who served as the last President of Czechoslovakia until the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1992, and then as the first President of the Czech Republic until 2003. He once famously said, “Hope is definitely not the same as thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well. But the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out.”

We’re ten months into what someone recently characterized as “the long season of hopelessness.” Even equipped with my own filter of positivity, I’d have to agree that, well, there certainly have been moments. But let’s be clear: the apparent absence of hope does not contradict the reality of hope’s presence. God’s promise of hope was given precisely because we so often experience an absence of hope.

We have hope in the midst of hopelessness. From the challenges of a pandemic, to the division in our country, and racial disparity, the hope that we have reminds us that our circumstances are met with God’s promise to be fully present with us. Our prayer in this hopeful season of Advent is that we’ll acknowledge our discontent, our frustration, our anxiety—and that we’ll be renewed by the hope and promise of God with Us – Emmanuel. 

This doesn’t change the circumstances we find ourselves in; it changes us and how we view our circumstances; it changes our perspectives.

That hope, then, begins to brighten even the darkest corners of our daily lives and allows even more light to shine from this promise: “For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the hope of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.” That’s good news!

So light the candle! Call it your Hope Candle. Notice how the candle’s flame illuminates the hope of Christ with you, Christ in you, Christ through you.


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