11-29 Advent Devotional

Hope

Tara Wilkins

Daniel 3:19-28a

 Advent is an invitation to focus our attention on the expectation of God’s entry into our lives.  We begin with Hope.  The late Henri Nouwen said, “Hope is trust that God will fulfil God’s promises to us in a way that leads us to true freedom”.  Hope is often born in the midst of dark times.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego experienced the despair of seeming powerlessness.  Instead of letting fear immobilize them, they stood in their faith in God and God’s ways, and the fire did not overcome them.  In fact, their act of truth-telling bore witness to the living God such that it changed the heart of an angry king.

Advent waiting is time to focus on the truth of whose we are, to wait for God’s presence to lead us through our fear and despair, and to proclaim that the God of all creation calls us to divine love, hope, joy and peace.  Advent waiting is not passive, it’s active.  Our waiting is with the confidence that what is going to happen is going to change and transform things in unexpected ways.  Advent practice is to wait, eager and alert, to be a part of God’s transformation.

This season in the midst of angry kings and uncertain times, we bear witness to God’s invitation to care for one another, to not lose sight of the invitation to open our hearts to peace, and not let our fear overcome us for God’s reign is at hand.

 

Rev. Tara Wilkins, pastor at Bridgeport United Church of Christ in Portland, Oregon, and executive director of the Community of Welcoming Congregations.

©2016 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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