Sunday, December 2, 2012

Advent 2012, Week One: Hope

Every year I write the meditations for the weeks of Advent and this year I thought I would publish them.  

Today we begin the celebration of Advent, which starts every year on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day. Like a family awaiting the arrival of a new baby, we await the designated anniversary of our Lord’s birth.

The presence of the Christ child appeals to the tender place in our hearts where we discover great love for small children. The Child awakens a sense of loving obligation and generosity where we aspire to be the best persons we can be.

With a sense of anticipation, we light a candle each week of Advent, each one signifying something special about the season. Today, we begin Advent by lighting the candle of Hope.

I know that my redeemer lives, 
     and that in the end 
     he will stand on the earth.

I myself will see him
     with my own eyes—I, and not another.
     How my heart yearns within me! *

These words were spoken by a man named Job who had lost everything: his wealth, his family, his health, his dignity, and the respect of his community. But even though he had lost everything, and even though he was confused and bitter about God, Job held onto the hope that one day someone would come to rescue him.

His Redeemer didn’t come in his lifetime. In fact, the Redeemer didn’t come for a thousand years… maybe two thousand years.

But he did come, arriving late in the night. No one noticed his arrival and relatively few knew him during his life, but many have come to know him since then.  

Like Job, we have not seen our Redeemer, but we believe he did arrive and that his name is Jesus. 

Because we share that hope with Job, we believe that one day we will be delivered from our struggles and pain, and we will see God clearly.

May the Hope of Christ, which combines powerful longing with great expectations, bless each of you this season.  Amen.

*From Job 19:25, 27.  


  1. Thank you, David! I needed this! I am still struggling to find my way.

  2. The story of Job always upset me a little. He was so faithful, and he suffer so horrendously, and he never lost faith. When I hear the story of Job, I know I could never be so strong. Are we meant to compared our faith to Job, to pity him?

    1. It is an upsetting story. I think we're supposed to relate to a man who suffered for no apparent reason.

      The thing that was so admirable about Job was that as hopeless and bitter as he felt, he still held on to wait for better days.

      Endurance is not pretty or perfect. It's just a matter of holding on, something you probably know about, as most of us do.