As we enter the season of Advent, we light the candles of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. In the poem “The Coming of God” by Ann Weems, she writes that our hope is that God will come. God will come when and where we might least expect God to be.
Yet, here we are again with a new variant of COVID, countries are locking down and scientists are working fast and furiously to keep ahead of it. We hear of countries struggling with coups and inflation and hunger. We continue to hear that the legacy of injustices continue to wreak havoc in our country. Where is the hope? Where do we look for it?
We look for the stories not making headlines. We see God working with those stocking a food shelf. We see God working to help Afghan evacuees and other refugees settle into a foreign land. We see God working to care for those who are lonely, discouraged or ill. We see God working in the stranger who smiles at you as you walk down the street. We see God working in those who work tirelessly to bring peace and justice to those who are oppressed.. These are places where we find hope.
Hope and peace spring from our souls filled with God’s love. Our hope springs from our thoughts and actions. Hope is not always in the large, expansive gestures. It is found in the small, every day encounters. Hope can be found in even a stable in Bethlehem. Hope often comes from unexpected encounters when we say, “oh, there is a God.”
It is God who is our hope that brings about the peace of Christ. It is God who is our joy and it is God who loves us steadfastly. Sometimes we just have to look a little more closely or a little more intently to see where God is breaking into our lives and into our history. God is there. God is here. And may God continue to be with all of us in this season of Advent.