Every year I take it out again and start all over. This is a good thing. There are some traditions that are new. This one started 3 years ago when my dear friend Martha gave me the book, Advent and Christmas, Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton, edited by The Center for the Study of C. S. Lewis and Friends and published by Liguori Press. Over the years I think we've forgotten that preparation for Christmas is a time for serious reflection on the life of Christ and how our journey with Him is progressing. We are so bedazzled by the glitz of the season and all that it entails that we forget that this is the beginning of our salvation history in Christ Jesus. Today I would offer this for reflection.
In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for your in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. ~Colossians 1:3-6
God of hop, Give of hope, help us in our hopeless moments. Turn our hearts and minds to promise of the gospel, to your dear Son, Jesus Christ. Strengthen our faith in what we have heard. Especially in our troubles, remind us of our true home with you in heaven. Help us to hope for eternal life with you.
Make a list of the things you are currently hoping for. This may include advancement in your career, the success of an important relationship, the completion of a project, or any number of things. When you have finished the list, look over it. Circle one item and say a brief prayer for God's help in bringing this about. If praying feels uncomfortable, consider whether the time you have chosen is something you should hope for. Ask God for clarity. Resolve to hope for those things that bring you closest to God.
And so it is that I begin, again, to hope that this season will bring me a new awareness of my role in the work of salvation? I will make that list. I will circle the one that I hope can be accomplished. Then I will pray that, by the grace of Almighty God, it can be accomplished.
What is your hope today?
Thanks be to God!!!