1. Reflect on Our Impossible Hope:
The first light of Advent, the light of Hope. Our very hope in the arrival of Christ in the manger, but also the coming of Christ. This beautiful hope, that in the weary frailness of this life there is abundant hope of the future to come.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
“So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:28)
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s how are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
We need this hope more than ever. When the things around us look weary, we take hope in what Christ has done and will do. The hope is secure in Christ.
2. Reflect on Defiant Joy:
My word for 2020 was joy. I had great expectations for this word after a particularly rough time with my mental health at the end of 2019. I was sure there was better on the horizon. It took seven months into 2020 to realize that the word had more purpose than I could have imagined.
Real joy took on a different definition. My circumstances may not match the joy that I feel inside because real joy isn’t dependent on anything but Christ. When the Shepherds heard the announcement of the angel, they were told it will cause great joy for all people. Christ is our joy.
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:8–11)
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)
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