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Hope | Advent Journey

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. Psalm 62:5 (NLT)

Maybe it’s not yet the time for Christmas carols, but one of my favourites is “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” The words linger in my mind: “the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”

The weeks leading up to our celebration of Jesus’ birth is known as Advent, Latin for “coming.” In the language of the New Testament, this is the same word used for the Lord’s second coming. During Advent, we await the celebration of His first coming while we also look forward to His second coming. Each of the four weeks leading up to Advent is focused on hope, peace, joy, and love, respectively.

In the face of the fragility of life during this pandemic, suddenly, we are living with all kinds of uncertainty. Our plans, goals, habits, sense of safety, and even financial security – many assumptions about how we will live – were reshaped or lost overnight. As we take out the Advent wreath, we think about where our hope comes from.

“The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.”

Now many people are asking probing questions about how they want to live and even the purpose of their lives. Others wrestle with anxiety, craving assurance that they will be OK. As we light the first candle of the Advent wreath, we consider, “Who is our hope?”

“The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.”

Hope in the Bible looks to God’s character alone as a basis for trusting that the future will be better than the present. In the words of Psalm 23:3, “He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” His promises are certain, for he will be faithful to his Word.

We start this advent season with this hope, which we find in the Word of God, in hearing God speak. His voice ignites hope – not mere wishing or vague optimism, but an anchored conviction that God, who created us, holds us close in His love, no matter what life brings.

– Matthew Francis,
Regional Director, BC & Yukon 

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