[ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Deanna, a high school English teacher, finds it more comfortable to edit others’ writings than to write. But she is taking this challenge of writing for the Advent Blog and putting aside her marking pens.]
Being in a school setting, I often get to see hope in action, namely in the students’ actions. The student who has prepared for the test is hopeful that I will have it marked and back to them with speed. Sometimes they are so hopeful, I have inquiries before the test day has even passed. The student who hasn’t prepared for the day, is hopeful I won’t ask for the homework. And they are the most vocal in sharing their misery when I ask for their work right before the bell. There is hope as the new sports season starts: We are a sport-fanatic group. Students are beyond joyous as the season draws nearer, just as the coaches and teachers are beyond joyful as the season draws to an end.
As Advent season dawns, it is with a renewed sense of hope and joy in our world. This hope goes beyond the design of a red cup or the search for an ugly festive sweater at Value Village. It is a time we can be bold in expressing our love for Him, as people are willingly searching for Christmas miracles. It is a time where we are encouraged to “love our neighbour” by donating to charities aiding society’s voiceless and powerless. Hebrews 10: 23-24 reminds us:
“Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful; and let us consider thoughtfully how we may encourage one another to love and do good deeds” (AMP).
Hope came two millennia ago when a birth was proclaimed in the stars. Hope comes every day with the scrawl of the aurora borealis in our northern skies, the thundering waves against a sandy beach, the intricate designs on a stained glass window in a European cathedral, and in a quiet, reflective moment in a hidden park in the middle of a large metropolis. Hope continues to draw breath, even when we feel we can’t catch ours during the busy season ahead. And Hope will be continually found, when we choose to not focus on the fear and ugliness found in our world.
Hope is the declaration of His presence in our lives. And that is why Advent and the Christmas season form a time of beauty, a time of hopefulness for every person as we remember who God is — reliable, trustworthy, faithful — and what He can do in our lives and through our lives.