This week, the first week of Advent, HOPE is our focus as we consider as Christians how our faith stirs hope within us.
This is the time of year, however, when that word is often plugged into sentences that have more to do with the pressures the Holidays than the hope that can be found in the Advent Season.
I hope I can find something for everyone on my list.
I hope the mall traffic isn’t horrendous.
I hope I don’t go into too much debt again this Christmas.
I hope the drinking doesn’t get out of hand this year.
I hope there isn’t too much family feuding.
I hope no one mentions our recent loss.
I hope the depression or loneliness isn’t too severe.
Whatever is anxiously bubbling up for you this time of year, consider these words from Romans 15:13:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
My friends, do not allow the frenzy of this Holiday Season to distract you from the Holy Season of Advent.
Let your focus be on the joy and peace that comes not only in following Christ, but in trusting that the God of hope is at work in our lives. No matter the struggles, no matter the despair that can rise up in the dark winter days or when you’re not sure how you’ll afford Christmas or when family tensions are rising, remember that God does not forget nor forsake us.
This Advent may we witness hope being transformed into peace between family members, neighbors, and countries. May we fashion with God’s help a hope that comes in the form of courageous and creative change to dire situations. In this Holy Season and every season, may we plant seeds of hope in the hearts of the downtrodden and feel it overflowing from our very own souls.