Beginning in Hope

The First Sunday in Advent
Readings: Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; I Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37
“I wish you would open up your heavens and come down to us.” Isaiah 64:1
Have you ever been warned to be careful what you wish for—it might come true?
On this first Sunday in Advent we light the candle of “Hope”.  Could there be any message more hopeful than Isaiah’s, or the Psalmist in today’s reading imploring God again and again to “restore us” and to “let your face shine, that we may be saved” (Ps 80) or Micah’s reading for today where he prophesies that the Lord is coming down to tread on the earth. Then there is the message from today’s gospel to keep awake because the “Son of Man” is “coming in clouds with great power and glory.”(Mk. 13:26)
I remember, when I was an adolescent, asking my pastor why he didn’t preach about the “Second Coming”. Dr. Triplett smiled the smile of a wise elder and said that not nearly enough people are aware of the first coming and what that means to them to be spending time talking about the second coming. First things first.
It seems we are a hopeful but unappreciative lot. The times I have been blessed to get what I had hoped for, I’m very grateful, of course—for a few weeks, maybe. Then I’m all about “what’s next?”
This Advent, may we all for once just be grateful for the greatest gift ever given to humankind in the coming of our God to tread on the earth, to restore us and lift us in arms of love to everlasting salvation. If we can “get” this, there seems little need to wonder about what’s next. That’s my hope.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Bill Albritton

“There is a truth that lives within us that will be with us forever.” (2 John 2)
Bill Albritton is a church leader, prayer minister, and child of God.

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I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

One thought on “Beginning in Hope”

  1. Thank you, Bill. Your words are a wonderful beginning to this Advent journey, and I am grateful for your thoughtfulness. Peace, Johnna

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