Hope! & Happy New Year!

Hope: For the Future

Happy New year! Today is the beginning of the Christian calendar. With the beginning of Advent, we begin a new Christian year by waiting in eager anticipation for Jesus’ coming.

What does that really mean for you? Does it mean anything at all to your day-to-day life?

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I suspect for many, you don’t think about the beginning of the Christian year. We certainly don’t treat it like we do the beginning of the calendar year (although I did think of asking Lindsay on the the stage during my sermon today for a new years kiss!). And why would you? Advent and this time of the year have become part of what we just do every year without giving much thought to it.

The lectionary text for today is Luke 21:25-36. In this passage, Jesus tells his followers that they should “be ready” for a time when we will be redeemed (v. 28).

So many times we have heard this passage and seen it as an apocalyptic, scare tactic to make us “better” Christians (as if there is such a thing). I think we might be missing the point with this passage.

Reverend Kathy Beach-Verhey says:

The good news of Advent is not simply that Christ is coming, but that his coming means we can hope, despite all that is falling apart in our lives, our communities, and the world around us… Advent offers us expectation and hope for something new. “Stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (v.28)… May those who come to Advent worship leave with a commitment to use this season of Advent to prepare for God’s kingdom breaking forth, as we await the radical, earth-shattering welcome of the Prince of Peace–the little baby, and the risen Lord.

This year we enter Advent full of hope. We hope that everything will be alright. We hope that our loved ones will get along. We hope that those who are sick will be made well. We hope to be happy… we are so full of hopes.

We can rest assured in the firm hope that Jesus tells us this week from Luke 21, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (v. 33). With this, we have a hope for our future.

Happy New Year! And may it be a year full of hope and love.

Grace & Peace,

-Pastor Cole

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