Sunday, November 27th
(This is the first meditation of Advent: The Difference Between…
Each day this week, we will be focusing on the difference Hope makes in our lives.)

If you have an Advent wreath, you may wish to light the first candle as the candle of HOPE.

We will be including many definitions in our daily reflections this Advent season! As we begin this week of hope, we find that the Merriam Webster online dictionary gives us several definitions of hope to contemplate. These definitions illustrate three different aspects of hope on which we can build our own increasing hope:

The definition of HOPE includes:

~ something desired or hoped for

This is where our hope begins, as our desire for a certain outcome. We are longing for a brighter day, a new beginning, a dream realized, an answer to prayer. Longing is our initial hope.  

~ desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment

Our hope then deepens through faith. Our desire, our longing, is buoyed by our understanding that we are beloved, by our expectation that good will come – and by our trust that prayers are fulfilled in God’s good way and time. Expectation is our faithful hope.

~ someone or something on which hopes are centered

Finally, our hope ultimately rests in Christ, in whom we center our hope, and from whom we have received our hope in the first place! God in Christ is both our source and our center of all hope. God in Christ is our confident hope.


In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:26-28 NRSVUE)

This story is a story for all of us.

The angel is about to tell Mary some incredible, unbelievable news – that she would become the mother of God’s son, Jesus. We can imagine that this news would be both exciting and terrifying for Mary! Perhaps this is the reason the angel prefaces his announcement with “The Lord is with you.” Mary would first need to know that God would be with her in all that was to come, through everything she would face. For every uncertainty, she could be certain of God’s loving, unwavering presence. Mary could place her hope in the certainty of God.

And we can, too.

The Lord is with you. God is with us in all things. We are never alone, never abandoned. In Christ, God has lived our lives, shared our heartaches, faced our fears. God grieves with us, hurts for us, and understands us. And God promises us a brighter day, a happier ending, a new life, and always, a glorious resurrection.

We can place our hope in God with faithful certainty – and find our serenity.

Advent Hope makes the better difference in the living of our days.

Definitions found at https://www.merriam-webster.com/
Bible passage found at https://www.biblegateway.com/
Thanks to Kelly Sikkema for her photo: http://Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash


  1. It’s only hope that keeps you trying,
    it’s hope that makes the world go ’round,
    even when you’re scared, and dying,
    living where hope can’t be found.
    It’s hope that’s far more than wrapper
    that shines beneath the Christmas tree,
    even comes time when the crapper
    is your mortal enemy,
    for its use doth death portend
    preceded by humiliation
    that will come before the end,
    but still, I feel a bright elation
    that though now cancer is winning,
    there will be a new beginning.


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