By Jess Fankhauser
I don’t know about you but I find myself craving the hope of the advent season this year more than normal. After this past month in our country and the divisiveness that seems to run so deep, I find myself longing for the rhythm of advent leading up to Christmas. I crave the time to prepare and reflect, to be reminded in all of my longings that Christ has indeed already come.
The lyrics of O holy Night echo in my heart today…
“The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices…”
A weary world. It sure feels like it. The thrill of hope and rejoicing—well, if I’m honest they feel harder for me. Yet, as I sat in Church yesterday we celebrated the first week of Advent by lighting the hope candle. And as we did, I found myself breathing a little deeper, a little slower.
Nothing about this first week of advent changes the angst and fear for so many that this month has brought. Nor does it change the continued deep-seeded division within our country and the Church and our desperate need for healing.
But this first week of advent does remind me that I can bring all of my longings, fears and uncertainty to the cross.
In Hebrews 11:1 we read, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (ESV) and in 2 Corinthians 5:7 “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (ESV)
Hope and faith. Two things I’m clinging to this advent season. While I crave sight, I know I need more faith. And in a season of weariness, I cling to hope. This first week of advent is a reminder of the reason for our hope. A reminder I desperately needed, maybe you needed it too.
Whether you are weary or rejoicing, hopeful or not, I pray this advent season is one that deepens your faith and reminds you of the hope, love, joy and peace found in Christ.