December 2nd Advent Devotional

Hope in Vision

Allison Byerley

Habakkuk 1:1-7; 2:1-4; 3:[3b-6], 17-19

 The videos of escapes from the inferno around Paradise, CA, went viral on social media. They are horrific records of desperate journeys through tunnels of fire. Because we are watching the video, we know these people made it out, but we feel their fear as embers rain down and the roar of flames overwhelms their cries of “Oh, God! Oh, God!”

I hear echoes of those cries in the opening verse of Habakkuk: “O Lord, how long shall I cry to you for help, and you will not listen?”

Increasing numbers of people conclude that God doesn’t listen, or doesn’t care, or isn’t there. The “Nones” and “Dones” are the fastest growing demographic in the religious landscape. If we stop with the first verses of Habakkuk, we might join them.

But those are not the prophet’s last words. God promises that there is still a vision and God is active in creation to accomplish it. As we begin Advent, we start with the despair we feel in a world on fire, literally and metaphorically, and cry “How long?” As the Church, we answer that we find hope in the vision of the Lord. Hope, one of the key watchwords of the season of Advent. Hope that the worst thing is not the last thing, in the words of Adam Hamilton, pastor of Church of the Resurrection.

We stand with Habakkuk and know that we may not see the fig tree blossom or taste the fruit of the olive, but we will rejoice in the Lord and proclaim that God is our strength and our salvation.

 Rev. Dr. Allison Byerley is the Pastor of Mariposa UMC in Mariposa, CA.

©2018 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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