by Demi Prentiss
Here we are in the middle of Advent – just past the beginning of the Christian year, looking toward Christmas and those Happy New Year celebrations, complete with made-to-be-broken resolutions. Each week church goers hear about the hope and joyful expectation embodied in Advent. With the days getting shorter, the temperatures colder, and the trees barer, many of us identify with the longing for a glimmer of hope.
For Christians, Jesus embodies that hope. And we look forward to re-claiming that hope for ourselves each year. “A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, / For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!’ is the reminder we hear in the verses of “O Holy Night.”
Thank you, Jesus! I deserve a little hope. Doesn’t everyone? For many of us, every-day life can be hope-crushing. All I want for Christmas is hope!
But wait. In the “already / not yet” world of the Christian, each of us is already a Christ-bearer, by virtue of our baptism. We are “marked as Christ’s own forever” (BCP p. 308). Each of us carries that spark of hope, even when it’s so dim we hardly feel it. As Peter reminds us, “Always be ready to offer a defense, … when someone asks why you live in hope.“ (1 Peter 3:15 The Voice)
Even when you aren’t aware of it, it’s likely the Christ in you is showing, or could be. In what ways might the people around you see your everyday work and the way you live your life as “bringing hope into the world”? And if you don’t think of your life in that way, what might happen if you did? What might happen in your work-place, or your family, or your cycling group, if your ambition each day was to bring hope into the world?
May your week bring many opportunities to be a hope-bringer.