Advent: HOPE

Today marks the beginning of the Advent season. This is my favorite time of the year and it signifies the end of the Western Liturgical Calendar year.

Advent commemorates the centuries of waiting for the arrival of the Savior promised to the Jews in the Old Testament. Although everyone understands Advent to be a time of preparation for Christmas, few understand that it is also a time of change–a time when each person is called to change not only their own life, but also the lives of those around them. A sharp contrast is drawn between the rushed preparations for the material celebration of Christmas and the personal spiritual preparations that are the true focus of the season.

For Christians, the season of Advent is a time of quiet meditation in preparation for the Christmas celebration in honor of the birth of Jesus. Each of the four weeks before Christmas, a particular virtue or quality of faith is the focus of meditation. This week’s focus is on HOPE.

Scripture Readings:

Isaiah 9:2 The people walking in darkness see a bright light; light shines on those who live in a land of deep darkness.

1 Peter 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Liturgy of Hope and Expectation:

He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. 1 Cor 1:8,9

Restore us, O God
Make your face shine upon us,
That we may be saved.
Uphold us, O God
Embrace us in your arms
That we might be saved
Uplift us, O God
With the promise of your Word
That we might be saved

Heaven and earth may pass away
But your word of truth remains

“At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.” Mark 13:26 – 27

In your time, Creator God
This world was put in place
And in your time
Became beautiful
Through the craftsmanship of your love.
Remind us always
As we look at sunrise
Landscape and tiny child
That at the centre of all things
Is the creative love of God.

In your time, Loving God
When we had wandered far
In your perfect time
You embraced the prodigal
Within the security of your arms.
Remind us always
As we look at pain caused
And hardship endured
That at the centre of all things
Is the forgiving love of God.

In your time, Saving God
You walked upon this earth
And in your time
Became one of us
To show what we could become
Remind us always
As we look at our lives
In comparison with yours
That at the centre of all things
Is the saving Grace of God

In your time, Mighty God
You will come in glory
And in your time
Gather the harvest
From one end of this earth to the other
Remind us always
In times of plenty
And in times of famine
That at the centre of all things
Is the love and mercy of God
Amen

Additional Resources:

  • To read my friend Bethany’s thoughts on how to celebrate the season of Advent as a family please visit her blog: Bethstedman.com
  • Find out more information about how you and your community can give back during this Christmas season go to Advent Conspiracy
  • This is a great video encouraging us to offer hope, as we have been given hope through Christ: Advent Hope Video

Practice of Advent through Music: Sufjan Stevens- Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing

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2 thoughts on “Advent: HOPE

  1. carrie says:

    Thought provoking, as usual. Keep ’em coming!

  2. […] friend of mine is writing an advent series on her blog with scriptures, prayers, and other resources for reflection and I love what she is doing and […]

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