Dear Faith Family,
We are living in an Advent world. With an economy that can at best be described as
uncertain, with a war whose length can only be described as indefinite, in times that
must be described as anxious… the world just may be open to the Advent message.
Just maybe, the word of a prophet, the voice of an angel, the cry of a newborn child,
have a chance to get through.
In an Advent world, people know that the way things are is not the way things should
be. In an Advent world, people are searching for something, but that something is more
than just the return of consumer confidence or a rejuvenated job market, important as
these are. In an Advent world, people wonder if there really is a Purpose that comes to
us from beyond our own desires, if there really is a Presence that empowers us to live, if
there really is a Love that enfolds us when times are tough. In an Advent world, people
are looking for hope.
When times are tough and people turn to the living God, hope is exactly what they find.
Not easy answers for complex questions, not short-term fixes for deep-rooted problems,
not band-aids for the wounds of the soul. Instead they find hope: the sure and certain
promise that God is at work, within us and among us: guiding paths, strengthening
resolve, encouraging justice, lifting burdens, wiping tears, healing hearts, empowering
lives, right up until our last breath when we return to our eternal home.
We teach our kids that “it’s more blessed to give than to receive,” and in our consumer
culture, celebrating the joy of giving is surely a virtue. But somewhere in the midst of this
Advent, stop…pause… and remember that Christmas is also about receiving. It’s about
receiving the gift that God offers each and every Christmas, if we will only take it. The
gift is hope, and the package has your name on it. Sometime in this holy season, make
sure to open it.
Grace and peace,