Advent in Your Everyday

Today's Photo: A Hopeful Light

Today is the first Sunday in the season of Advent. It's the time in the church year between the end of Pentecost and beginning of Christmas. Another way to think about it is as the 4 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In thinking about how to incorporate Advent into the blog, I've decided on coming up with a daily devotional related to some "everyday living" sort of theme. Some days will be more overtly "religious" than others; the goal is that each day will be an accompaniment for readers as they journey through these next four weeks. Here we go...

Advent is described as a season filled with hope. In trying to describe this theme of "hope" to a group of adorable, easily-distracted, highly-fantastic kids this morning during the children's sermon, I was faced a challenge. What on earth is hope?

Interestingly, hope is a word used regularly but defined rarely. What does it really mean to have hope? To live in hope?

After doing a little thinking on the topic, I have come to the conclusion that I feel most hope-filled when I am around people laughing and people crying. That probably sounds a bit odd, doesn't it? I just find that these are two of the most authentic ways that humans are able to express themselves. Genuine laughter and genuine tears. Many of the moments I have felt most in touch with my "authentic" core are moments spent laughing and crying in community with others. And when I am in the midst of such authenticity, I am generally filled with a sense of hope that God is real and relationships are central to what life is all about.

How about you? You certainly don't need to post a response if you'd prefer not to. This is more about setting a little time aside to do some pondering. When do you most experience feelings resembling hopefulness? On the other hand, what parts of your life act like hope-sucking vacuums that leave you without those feelings of anticipation and joy? What does hope look like in your daily life? Do you experience hopefulness while reading, listening to music, spending time with your kids? Seek out those moments in the month ahead. Hopeful moments are a treasure made to be embraced.

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