Advent candle arrangement courtesy Irene.
This first week of Advent we are considering hope. What do you hope for this Christmas? A COVID-19 vaccine? To be with your family for a Christmas celebration? If so, you are hardly alone.
I asked last week: what Christmas carol speaks to you of hope? There is one line in "O Little Town of Bethlehem" which sums up Christmas hope so well. Referring to Jesus, it says famously,
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
What do you fear this Christmas? How is that fear related to what you hope for?
Jesus comes. We like to sing that he comes at Christmas. Actually he comes the rest of the year just as much as he comes at Christmas. Better to say, we are more aware that Jesus comes at Christmas.
Jesus comes at the intersection of our greatest fears and wildest hopes. "Do not fear, only believe," he says. And we feebly reply, "I believe; help my unbelief!" And we find Jesus' acceptance in this admission.
Because he was born a human baby, lived a victorious life, died a sacrificial death, and rose as the conquerng Saviour, we gladly and confidently stand with Jesus at that point of intersection, facing our fears with hope.
This Christmas, may the living Jesus become our primary hope.
"Lord Jesus, my fears are real, but so our my hopes. I gladly place my hope in you now, that in you I may face my fears."
PS - Thanks to all who shared photos your Advent candle arrrangements. The making of these arrangements is especially significant this year so you can take part in our Sunday morning candle lighting at home. I have shared the pictures here, so that others will be inspired to share their own creations!
PSS - For the second week of Advent, we will be thinking about peace; which carols especially speak to you of the peace of Christmas?