Hope for all to see?
Romans 15: 4-13 (NRSVA)
4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, 6 so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
‘Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles,
and sing praises to your name’;
10 and again he says,
‘Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people’;
11 and again,
‘Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples praise him’;
12 and again Isaiah says,
‘The root of Jesse shall come,
the one who rises to rule the Gentiles;
in him the Gentiles shall hope.’
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
How will you create your moment of stillness today?
A moment, comfy on the sofa with a cuppa? A moment of quietness in the car at the end of a drive? Or perhaps a moment, a sigh, in between tasks?
Hope is one of those great Advent themes —
Our Bibles are full of the ups and downs of life,
Of hardships and disasters, of people who time and again keep getting it wrong…
But throughout all of that is the story of a Loving God who in spite of the failings of men and women just keeps on showing up, keeps on stepping in, and keeps on redeeming them…
And with a promise that in the end all will be made new with no more death, no more suffering and no more tears.
In this season of Advent, we’re not just preparing ourselves to remember and celebrate the coming of Christ as a baby that first Christmas, we’re also watching and waiting with hope and anticipation for Christ to come again and fulfil that eternal promise.
But so often we place our hope in other things,
Things will get better when…
Or I’ll be happier and at peace when…. (you fill in the blanks!)
True peace, true joy only comes when our hopes align with God’s.
Take a moment in the stillness today to reflect on what you put your hope in… and consider if it’s something you’re abounding in…
I long for peace,
But that peace can only fully be found when I turn myself to you
Hope of the World,
Source of joy and peace.
For you remind me that it is in you that my hope rests,
In my weariness from striving and failing yet again,
You remind me that Only you can provide,
Only you can satisfy.
Lover of my being,
Help me to open my heart and welcome you in,
Let me turn my life over to you,
That in your love,
I might find joy
And know your peace in my life…
Today… and always.