“Hope” First Sunday of Advent 2021 ~ Guest blog post by Kim Hock

Good morning, I’m Kim.  Walking into a season that we know as Advent, longing and expectation captivate us. Our hearts may sense a variety of responses…often the focus is on the goodness of this season, yet for some this season may bring heartache and pain and the anticipation is not welcomed. Together we can enter, bringing whatever we carry into this season and we turn our eyes to the hope of the gospel.  Paul invites us to understand hope as beyond us and within us at the same time when he offer “Christ in you is the hope of Glory.”  (Light the candle.)

I was asked what is hope to me? And I often think of hope as a peaceful, positive, wonderful feeling or experience…when in reality hope can actually be dangerous and painful as I hope for things that feel risky and impossible. I have no assurance that what I hope for will ever come to pass…yet if I do not hope, even though dangerous, I will live in despair. 

So…Hope for me is experiencing the brilliance of humanity as it fights to survive a microscopic killer with adjustments, solutions, and vaccines. 

Hope for me is experiencing the brilliance of humanity as it fights generations of injustices and trauma by confronting it over and over on behalf of people long silenced and offering something different to instill hope in others. 

Hope for me is entertaining the ideas that we might do better in this world with ourselves, with each other, with God.  

Hope for me is being captivated by watching my children experience life in ways I never did or could, make decisions that bring them harm and joy, and find their glory even when it is not what I once thought was their glory. 

Hope for me is being in awe of the creativity of humanity in the midst of times of disconnection, disillusionment, and dissatisfaction. 

Hope for me can be reckless, dreamy, and full of desire. I wonder what you desire today, and what do you bring into this day as deep longing…could it be there without your judging whether it is good or bad?

Will you join me in prayer:

God of hope. God of wonder. God of majesty

You are beyond us, yet within us

You are the very presence of life in us and we carry the weight of your death. Maybe our hope today can reflect the invigorating life and colors of fall while at the same time ushering in the death of winter. 

From the microcosm of cells pulsing and moving through our bodies right now, to the creation of the world outside of us…all chorusing together in a crescendo of life…beauty for our eyes and ears to take in with wonder.

We come before you as your creation, in your image, with all you created bursting at the seams to be seen and known. Our realization of this comes with an understanding of all we are not at the same time. We are known to you, yet not what you envisioned; we are loved by you, yet cannot love the way you wanted; we are light to the world, yet we cast shadows everywhere we go; we are beings of desire and hope made in your image, yet we continue to encounter despair, ignoring the very desire you embed in us. May we know your enduring love in the presence of our humanity.

Would you remind us of your hope…your desire that lives in us. Would you awaken our hearts to understand what longing is, that we might step in at risk…to long, to desire, even when it is painful or makes no sense? We judge the world you created, yet judge ourselves even more harshly; and somewhere in this conundrum is your sweet welcoming of us and all you have created within us to be your very glory. How can that be? Would you capture us with your outstanding presence so we might be captured with ourselves and with those around us each day…maybe as this happens we might catch a glimpse of your hope in us. As we breathe in a moment of silence, would you turn our gaze to the world outside these walls…might you nudge us to be captivated by all of you in it, even the parts we might not typically welcome as your creation. Silence

Oh God of hope, from whom all blessings flow…the weight of your sacrifice with the backdrop of hope is matchless. There is no encore as you are ever present as a seal of love on our hearts. There is no hope without you and we embody the very glory that is the hope of Christ.

God of hope. God of wonder. God of majesty

Let us not lose sight of you…the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen

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I love the Lord. To those I love I am wife, mother, granny, great-granny. To my corner of the world I am a writer.

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