This Sunday marks the start of the season of Advent. During this time leading to December 24th, we reflect on the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and prepare for his return one day. The first Sunday is the Sunday of Hope, of finding hope in the birth of Jesus that first Christmas Day, of finding hope in the entry of God - the all-powerful creator - into history to become a humble child who would one day proclaim Salvation for all who would believe in Him.
But how do we find hope in 2016? What does our hope in Jesus look like today? As we consider the challenges of refugees around the world, including Mahari Serake's family, whose situation he shared with us last week, are we not only the finders of hope, but also the providers of hope to others. I never looked at it this way before...seeing Hope as a gift received by believers in Christ. However as a people "who boast in the hope of the Glory of God", we are called to provide hope to others. In providing this hope we will not be "put to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
As we consider how we might be a conduit of hope to reunite the Tewalda and Serake families in Canada, let us ask if we are being called to provide hope to this family amidst the darkness of a world torn apart by war, prejudice and violence. Maybe we are being called by the Holy Spirit to continue the angel's message of "Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all."
This Sunday let us find hope together.