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The Candle of Hope

A LAMENT FROM THE PEOPLE…

So here we are, God.
Our calendars tell us it’s Advent and that we’re to be celebrating.

But frankly, God – and forgive our complaining – or perhaps it’s truth-telling – but one quick look around the globe and the conflict and killing and the cruel way we treat each other – and it just reminds us how busted we are.

We read the newspapers in the morning
and the headlines just make our head hurt.
A 7 year old girl sold for sex on kijiji in Hamilton, Ontario. By her father? Really?
Suicide bombing near Baghdad and over 100 dead.
In Syria – Aleppo bombs leave a quarter millin ‘living in hell’ and without hospital care.
Standing Rock, North Dakota and the back story of genocide, broken treaties and forced assimilation.
These are our hopeless stories.

No wonder we’re addicted to coffee
and constant notifications
and that Netflix is our favourite companion some nights.
We cope by drowning ourselves in pleasure and red wine and the thought of another winter vacation.

So, God, how do we do this?
How do we celebrate in the midst of this?
Our hearts are broken by all of this – and that’s not even taking into account our own personal messes and the crummy way we love our spouses and children and our neighbour across the street.

The truth is, God – it is hard to make merry.
Even tho we may want to raise a toast with eggnog sprinkled with nutmeg or the latest holiday drinks from Starbucks,
we know that’s not the cure.

And so, instead,
aware of our desperation and hopelessness
and recognizing the lousy way everything else delivers,

we stand in front of You –
with our arms open wide
and our hearts fully turned towards You –

and we say, Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Amen.


A RESPONSE FROM THE KING OF HOPE…

My people – My dearly beloved people –

Advent is not so much a celebration – as it is an act of radical faith.

I want you to practice Advent – this season of wailing and hope because when you do, it means that you are paying attention to the fear and desperation around you. It means that you know something is wrong and you are aware of the hurt and evil and sadness that exists in the world.

You know that things are not as they should be. And you are right. Your discontent and frustration is legitimate. Hope is also legitimate. Hope dares to admit that things are not as they should be and that there is a better way.

I am that way – the Way, the Truth and the Life.

You have walked in deep darkness and you have lived in the land of great shadows – but you have seen My great Light. My Light shines in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome me.

Love always has the last word. Love always bats last.

Don’t be afraid.

I am with you. Take courage.

The world needs it.

Light this candle and remember that your hope is Me.

Immanuel

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