Advent: An Invitation to Hope


The angel said to Mary, “…behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end” (Luke 1:31-33). 

As I read the familiar words of Luke 1, I forget the gravity of Advent. God became one of us. He responded to evil and death not with an uncaring shrug nor a heavenly army, but with the piercing cry of an infant. The hope of the world is a helpless babe.

To be honest, I don’t know what to do with that. Give me the way of glory and efficiency and effectiveness, I cry. Grant me a lifetime supply of hope, I ask. But hope does not come on my terms. Sometimes, circumstances don’t change. Sometimes, God seems silent. But God is not like us.

As we enter Advent, I thought our charge would be to offer ourselves to God to be shaped by His hope. But I don’t think so. God is not like us. Advent isn’t about us giving to him so much as accepting the invitation of what he gives. To remember that Hope is a Person offering himself to us. Moment by moment. Minute by Minute. Hour by Hour. Day by Day.

Dear LORD, I confess I seek to manufacture hope on my own. Teach us to receive what you have for us this Advent. Whisper your goodness to our hearts. Remind us of Your presence in the moments of silence and sustain us in the tension of awaiting your coming. Amen.

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