This Advent we are doing a blog series to celebrate how our loving God came near and revealed Himself to us in Jesus. So over these few weeks we will be looking at the themes of Joy, Love, Hope & Peace as we approach Christmas. This is the third blog in the series on Hope.
“Beforeyou know it, his justice will triumph; the mere sound of his name will signalhope, even among far-off unbelievers.”
This year the reality of that first Advent has felt much more real, near and significant. The reality that the One whose “name would signal hope” came at a time that was not “silent and holy, calm and bright” like we sing. It was achaotic time, a time of great suffering, darkness, chaos and unrest.
Many of those close to me are currently in the midst of real struggle, pain and darkness, suffering with health, grief, loneliness, tensions in their workplace, joblessness, financial concerns, relational tension, breakdown, unrealised dreams and disappointments.
Then as I walk the streets of my city and serve in various areas, I see and hear stories of dark times, of relational break down, job loss, health issues, a few unwise decisions and now the future looks increasingly bleak from the doorway they are sleeping in.
And so, celebration somehow doesn’t sit well with me this year and I find myself engaging more deeply with Advent – the coming, the now and the not yet…hope. Because Advent is for such as these – those who know long dark nights, longing and yearning.
I have a little tree and from its branches hang envelopes. It is my Advent Calendar. Each day I pull from the envelope a name. I then pray for that individual and send them a text or card with His words for them. Words that I pray lift their eyes from the darkness to the horizon where “breaks a new and glorious morn” and they know again that “thrill of hope” at the name that signals hope.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1)
If you’d like to journey with us this Advent season, you can read our next blog ‘Hope’ on Christmas Eve, Monday 24th December, and visit our previous blog at 24-7prayer.co.uk/news.