Today’s Word: HOPE
Today’s Time of Stillness: 2 minutes
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. – Romans 15:13
Today we light the first candle in the Advent wreath – the candle of Hope. What do you hope for this Christmas?
That’s a big question around my house right now. I’m trying to gather Christmas wish lists from my husband and four kids. Early wants topping the lists include varied types of clothing and lots of makeup. For the girls, not my husband.
I know that’s not the real hope that Advent points to, though every ad and email tries to tell me otherwise. Apparently, Black Friday now lasts for a week. But I love shopping for gifts that will make someone grin when they tear the wrapping paper off of the box and catch a glimpse of what they wanted; what they were hoping for.
The hope of the long anticipated Messiah, though, was not for gifts or experiences or even family dinner around the holiday table. It was not an individual hope but a hope for the world, a world under God’s reign. A world as it should be. A hope of justice and mercy and peace. A hope that gives sight to the blind and sets the oppressed free.
What if that hope were on our wish list this year. Even better, what if that was the gift we sought to give. To wrap up big and small acts of justice and mercy and peace and slip them into the stockings where they are needed the most. To light a candle of hope in the darkness of too much self, too much them, not enough we.
There’s a church near my house that I pass every day on my way to work. For the last several weeks the sign out front has read,
Maybe the question can be asked another way:
If you got everything on your Christmas list this year, would it change the world or just yours?
As you practice your two minutes of stillness today, let this question wash over you. Let God’s hope fill you with joy and peace as you put your trust and your life and your Christmas list in his hands.