By: Adam Buzard, Director of Pastor Engagement and OAGroup Programming
I love Advent, and I think it is because for the majority of the year we as a culture try and rush through the wait, rush through the processes, rush in order to get to the next thing, but there is something about us pausing, slowing down and actually finding meaning in the season of waiting, and I often need that reminder.
The first week of Advent is Hope – hope in a Creator that would never forsake their creation, hope in God of grace and forgiveness, hope for a world in such need of a light in the darkness. Hope that we don’t have to stand idly by, but that we are invited by Jesus to participate in this story of redemption, and hope that as God came before, Christ will come again.
This week I am reminding myself of Psalm 130:5-8, in particular vs. 5 – “My whole being hopes.” So often if I allow myself to hope, or to wait, it is with a small part of me, but this is a season when we don’t have to hold back with our hope. We can give our full selves to our hope that is the coming Christ.
Giving our full selves to this hope means we have to practice it, and one of the beautiful aspects of Advent, is this daily invitation to practice hope. Mariame Kaba says it this way:
“Hope doesn’t preclude feeling sadness or frustration or anger or any other emotion that makes total sense.
Hope isn’t an emotion, you know? Hope is not optimism.
Hope is a discipline… we have to practice it every single day.”
In a school year that is busy, where we have so many hopes and initiatives and busyness and Christmas support and teacher support and activities, not even counting all the things you having going on outside of United4Hope, know that we can hope with our full selves in a God who fulfills his promises! May this Advent be one of Hope for you, your families, and our communities and may we wait well in this season.
5 I hope, Lord.
My whole being[a] hopes,
and I wait for God’s promise.
6 My whole being waits for my Lord—
more than the night watch waits for morning;
yes, more than the night watch waits for morning!
7 Israel, wait for the Lord!
Because faithful love is with the Lord;
because great redemption is with our God!
8 He is the one who will redeem Israel
from all its sin.