The first Advent candle: Hope

Readings for November 29, 2020

The First Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 63:16-17, 19, 64:2-7
Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13:33-37

It can be difficult to look back at 2020 and see much light. We are in the midst of a seemingly unchecked and unstoppable pandemic. We have been immersed in nasty political rancor. We live with gaping cultural divisiveness. We spew anger over most anything, even masks. And, perhaps most fittingly for this year of struggle, the famed tree in Rockefeller Center in New York City looks more like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree than a shining icon of the Christmas season.

Despite the sorrow that follows all the worldly tumult, Isaiah reminds us that only in faith can we hope. And in the first week of Advent, the candle of hope still shines brightly. “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1-3). In faith, then, we have hope in the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Jesus, who was born a poor baby boy in a lowly manger to bring peace to people of goodwill. Jesus, who made visible what had previously been invisible. Jesus, who came to set the world ablaze with hope. 

Our hope comes from God. And He does not disappoint–we wait in hope for the Word of God to become flesh Christmas day.

My Lord Jesus, at the lighting of this first candle of Advent, may I live in the hope of your birth at Christmas. O come, Lord Jesus. Come. Amen

2 thoughts on “The first Advent candle: Hope

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