First Advent Sunday
Yes, the Christmas holiday commercials have been running since before Halloween, and particularly in the last few weeks they’ve become more persistent. It just seems to be sneaking up on us. Don’t tell anyone but this Friday is Black Friday and this Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. I, for one, can’t believe it’s here. Well, ready or not, it’s here.
I promised to avoid utilizing Daniel’s Ironman competition any more but it just begs to be used as we prepare for Sunday. He’s been training for a year. Really he has been training for five years. He hoped to do well. He set goals. He shared them with a group of us. There came a point however, where he had to do the Ironman. He did, and did it superbly well. I wonder, though, what would have happened if Daniel had simply hoped that he would do well. I wonder how long he would have lasted in the swim (2.4 miles), or on the bike ride (112 miles), or on the run (a full 26.4 mile marathon). Pretty safe bet that he wouldn’t have lasted even a mile in the swim.
Hope is only one, sometimes small, piece of what motivates us toward something more. At the same time, hope is really important. This first Advent Sunday is all about hope, but again, hope simply isn’t enough. Hope is simply an emotion that speaks of a kind of longing. It can set us on a course that moves us in a direction, yet the choice of moving that direction is ours. Sunday we’ll explore this first piece; that of hope. And like the prophets of old, even the Wise Men of the nativity stories, and the “people walking in darkness,” so much began and continues to begin with hope. As we gather this Sunday, let’s gather with hope focused on something that can potentially change the world. Let’s hope that we can live up to the hopes of God has for us. To prepare read Isaiah 2: 3 – 5 and John 1: 6 – 14. Good to be home!