It is no wonder that Hope is such an important element of our faith. Hope is a waiting and watching and, well, hoping. What gives up hope rather than despair is the knowledge that there is a reason for us to hope. That something great is coming. That is why Christmas can be so much more than a holiday, but an exercise in our faith as we experience on the earthly level something close to what God has in store for us. We hope for Christmas and we know that it will come. For most of us that means joy and contentment at least for a moment. Of course for some, the holidays also bring the blues, and I would hate to think that words such as these would leave them feeling like something must be wrong with them. I have experienced times in my life also when Christmas did not bring anything close to joy for me. But we can see the power that it has on our world. I don't know if you will be familar with the story of the soccer game that broke out on the World War I battlefield during the Christmas truce of 1914. Read about it here if you're interested. I doubt that on the cold front of the war those soldiers were in a state of joy, but kicking a soccer ball around for a few hours in the cold where hours later volleys of gunfire would ring out must have let them know that somehow there must be hope. In Christ there is Hope. Welcome to the first week of Advent, may your week be filled with hope.
Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,
for in you I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go,for to you I lift up my soul.Psalm 143:8