Advent Reflections: Hope

“Here is my servant whom I have chosen, 
   the one I love, in whom I delight; 
I will put my Spirit on him, 
   and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 
He will not quarrel or cry out; 
   no one will hear his voice in the streets. 
A bruised reed he will not break, 
   and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, 
till he has brought justice through to victory. 
In his name the nations will put their hope.”

                                       - Matthew 12:18-21

Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent.  "Advent" means that something - or someone - important is coming, and it's the word that the Church uses to describe the season leading up to Christmas day.

Advent is a season of waiting.  A season of joy, hope, peace, love, wonder... and a season of waiting - expectantly - for something to happen.  It's the pathway - the journey - to Christmas.  And with Christmas comes radiant, amazing, overwhelming love - in the form of a baby boy, born in a stable... the very Son of God, laid in a manger: the hope of the world.

For these four weeks of Advent, we wait.  We remember.  We hope, dream, imagine, wonder, experience the mystery that is the gift of God's Son, born in the city of David: Christ the Lord.  We sing special songs.  We celebrate.  We give gifts that echo, tho they could never compare with, the Gift that we've been given.  We light candles, and decorate trees.

And we wait... with great hope.  Because the One who came is coming again.  He is coming back to rescue us, to save us, to redeem us - and to take us home to live with Him forever.

Advent is by far my favorite season of the year.  There's something magical about shifting out of Ordinary Time into Advent.  Things are no longer ordinary... something extraordinary is about to happen.

And one of those extraordinary things, this year, could be an even deeper walk with God.

I'd like to invite you to join me over the next few weeks as we dive into God's Word  - and this season! - with intentionality and expectation.  (We'll be following the daily reading plan found here.)  I would love to hear your thoughts as well as share some of my own as we go along.

If you're in, you can read any or all of the Scriptures in the reading plan every day, at any time you choose.  They recommend a few psalms in the morning and a couple at night, plus readings from the Old and New Testament and from the Gospels at some point during the day.  If it feels overwhelming, just pick one passage a day and stick with that.  Don't be legalistic about trying to read everything. Just get in God's Word every day.  :)  It's the Letter your Rescuer wrote you - and it tells you what to hope for, and in Whom you can always put your hope, being sure that you will not be disappointed. (Isaiah 49:23)

Looking forward to an awesome Advent season!

Grace and peace,

reposted in part from this post last year

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