4th Day of Advent: Hope

Watch for this: The time is coming’—GOD’s Decree—‘when I will keep the promise I made to the families of Israel and Judah. When that time comes, I will make a fresh and true shoot sprout from the David-Tree. He will run this country honestly and fairly. He will set things right. That’s when Judah will be secure and Jerusalem live in safety. The motto for the city will be, “GOD Has Set Things Right for Us.” –Jeremiah 33:14-16, The Message

Anyone who knows me knows that the season of Advent is my favorite time of year. I put up my tree early in November, and it doesn’t come down until February. I listen to Christmas music before it’s even on in the stores. I buy eggnog the second I see it in the grocery store. I keep my eyes out for that perfect gift way before the last minute. The Sundays in Advent are probably the best worship services of the whole year.

There is so much I love about this season. I’m one of the few that love the dwindling daylight. I love the darkness coming at 5pm on my commute home. For some, this season speaks of hurriedness and running from one event to another. To me, it speaks of something more.

Quietness.

Silence.

Peace.

The closing of one year.

The hope and anticipation of the coming year.

Advent is about waiting. Waiting for Christmas. Waiting for the coming Messiah. Waiting for the coming hope. It is in the slow, unhurried darkness where we have time to contemplate. Time to wait. To hope. Waiting for hope and the coming of a new day was illustrated to me most clearly this year through experiencing my first hurricane this past October. As Sandy arrived in NJ, the strongest point of the storm came through during the
evening. I sat in my little apartment as winds blew hard against the walls that protect and guard me from the outside elements. I hoped the walls would hold up this time too.

As trees creaked and fell, and as the power went out all around me and darkness surrounded me, I prayed for a new day and the rising of the sun more than I ever had before. As I write this, I am looking at a mailing for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy and other disasters. And their catch phrase is “Out of Chaos, Hope.”

More than anything else, many of us need hope. Hope through the storms of life. Disaster. Divorce. Disease. Disruption. Death. In the midst of this darkness, we can push it away with hurriedness, distraction, one more event. Or we can sit in it and wait expectantly, with attentiveness, for hope to break through.

Christ broke into our world.

Light in the midst of darkness.

The hope of all nations.

God has set things right for us.

A reflection by Angie Rines.

397328_10151079538903918_2034332395_n

Angie is the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at Presbyterian Church in Morristown. Angie tweets from @AngelaRines and blogs at http://angierines.wordpress.com