2021 Advent Devotional: In the Midst of Changing Ways – Many Gifts, One Spirit
Week 4: The Gift of Hope
Scripture: Micah 5:4-5 – “And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be one of peace.”
Reflector: CJ Riggins
Being asked to reflect on ways I’ve found hope in my life is a request to look back, when most often I see hope as a forward-thinking endeavor. In general, I have hopes that radiate from a personal vantage point to a much larger collective scope: hopes for myself, my family, friends and community, and for our world. I hope for justice. I hope for peace. I hope for prosperity. I hope for understanding. I hope for continued learning. I hope for patience. I hope for time. I hope for comfort. I hope for renewal.
Advent reminds us of a renewed hope that arrived with the birth of Christ. It’s an opportunity to renew our faith in God and our hopes for the future because of a gift given to us all. Reflecting now, I find hope in the small gestures that roll up to build a greater hope in a community when neighbor helps neighbor. I hope loved ones find comfort amidst illness or grief as a natural part of the cycle of life. One of my greatest hopes has always been that my children craft their own relationships with God because I know they’ll need to lean on those relationships sooner than they realize. I find hope when church pews fill in the holiday season that faith is not lost, but possibly questioned, rekindled or renewed. Regardless of the reason for hope, I love that it’s always present when you want it or need it. Hope can be found everywhere, provided you choose to look for it, and I’ve found strength in it knowing it is limitless.
Prayer: Everlasting God, hope is all around us. Open our hearts and eyes to finding it. The greatest hope of all is the birth of Christ, and in this season of Advent, we are preparing to be renewed with hope again. Amen.