One candle glows in the evening twilight enfolding families in its serenity. Eyes wide, children breathe in the Hope held in this moment as the season of Advent carries them on a sacred journey commemorating the birth of Christ. (photo by Laura Nyhuis on Unsplash)
The season of waiting and anticipation has arrived. In these holy moments, families reflect weekly on a different, but profound, theme as they light another of the four candles during the weeks of Advent. As they move through the themes, they immerse themselves in the message of Christ’s coming. In a way, the Advent season shines a light on the Old Testament faithful who were waiting for the coming Messiah. We Christians know the Messiah has come in Christ’s birth, but through Advent, we rekindle our awareness of a life lived in His love, peace, and joy.
Let’s follow along on the Advent journey. The first week, we are offered Hope–“an unshakable confidence that God can be trusted,” said Max Lucado in his book Because of Bethlehem. As we wait–a difficult process whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. But each evening when we gather around the glowing candles, we experience Christ’s presence wash over us. We understand that He is present with us through every moment of each day, His help in every struggle, joy, or accomplishment.
Waiting seasons are a common part of life. It’s then we hang onto Hope, not knowing how long before our prayers are answered. Some are waiting for employment, some for paychecks to pay the rent. Others are waiting for medical diagnosis scraping for Hope in a cure of healing. Some have been waiting years for the love promised in their marriage vows. We all have something that holds us in waiting rooms until our Hope is realized.
In the next few weeks, we’ll journey through Peace, Joy, and Love on our way to the manger where we’ll find the baby Jesus who fulfills our hearts’ desires and offers us Eternal Life unending filled with these gifts.
Hope will be fulfilled as we reach the manger on Christmas Day, giving us a taste of what each day can hold for us as we wait for the Eternal Christmas.
If you would like to travel the Advent journey with us, you may want to purchase a copy of Max Lucado’s book, Because of Bethlehem, Love is Born Hope is Here, or my friend Mary Geisen’s book, The Advent Narrative, The Life You Didn’t Know You Were Already Living. Mary’s book is available on Amazon Kindle free or download it to your e-reader for $2.99.
May you have an Advent filled with Hope.
From My Heart to Yours,