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Advent Hopes

by Rev. Debra Avery on December 09, 2021

For thousands of years God’s prophets have called for peace. Visions of lions and lambs resting together, swords and arrows melted into farming tools, all nations coming together in harmonious shalom – these are the wild imaginings of people who have caught a glimpse of what God intends for Creation.

As we enter our 2nd Advent in pandemic conditions, we may feel like we've become accustomed to things like mask wearing, social-distancing, and the multiples of precautions we take here at UPC and in our community, but these things carry with them a sense of uneasiness. We notice rising prices and the impact they have on our families. We worry about the effects of this ongoing crisis on our neighbors who have fewer resources than we do. The peace that passes all understanding seems so far off and it sometimes seems impossible to stay on the journey of hope, to hang on to a vision of God's transformation.

Yet this is what Advent is all about. When Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all, seems like nothing more than a Christmas card sentiment, we bring our yearning hearts to this season of watchfulness and waiting to find that in the midst of what might look to us like too much struggle, not enough hope, we hear the prophets cry “Behold!” and the angels sing “Glory!” Stars shine brightly in a desert sky, a mother and father look in awe at their newborn son, the Savior of the world, and the Spirit gently blows on that little ember, buried in our hearts since the beginning of time. And once again, beneath the ashes of what we thought were burned out dreams, there is a new light that shines into the deep corners of our darkest places, lighting the way for hope to be born anew in us. God is still with us. Peace in our hearts, in our homes, and peace on earth is still possible. So together, let's enter this Advent season with prophets and angels, waiting with them and gently nurturing the embers of hope burning within us until the fullness of Christ’s light shines in and through us for all the world to see.

May the blessings of Advent be with us all!
Pastor Debra