Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Advent Hope

Advent is about to wind up this Saturday night as Christmas is almost upon us. One of my favourite themes of Advent is hope. Hope says that even when life isn’t everything I wished was, that’s okay. Perhaps you’ve had your share of disappointments, and maybe your Christmas isn’t shaping up the way you thought it would. We’ve certainly had our share of frustrations and disappointments. I (Dave) need to take one more history or theology course for my degree program but my seminary isn’t offering one in either department next semester so I can’t do it. Our family visit to the dentist last week turned up three cavities (but I won’t say who got them). The flu has been travelling through our extended family for the last week and even right into our home. I’m sure my wife and children could add to the list and that your family has its list too. But advent is the season of hope and anticipation with the knowledge that Christ enters our world to right what is wrong, to restore what’s been lost, to heal what’s been broken and to establish God’s abiding presence in ways we’ve only glimpsed until now. Hope keeps us looking forward and not backward, anticipating rather than dreading the future. But advent is also preparation knowing that I myself am part of the wrong that needs to be righted (wrighted?) I confess that I’m sometimes my own worst enemy, and often the primary cause for my disappointments and frustrations, no doubt the disappointments and frustrations of others.

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today…

May God’s presence be birthed in us that we might be the answer that others are hoping for…

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I had planned on writing about advent and the themes that go with it since we are in the first week of December and Christmas is coming. Those of you who are traditionalists will tell be that I am getting a bit ahead of myself by starting with Joy, but it seems to go with the events of the last week. I had the opportunity to get to prayer meeting last week and found myself praying for the pastor and his family that they would experience all the joys of the season despite the heart ache of going through the process of saying good bye to a beloved family member. Little did I expect that I would find some extra joy myself this week.
I had the pleasure of helping my sister move back into her house last week (thanks again to all of you that have been praying for them --they can still use your prayers as they continue in this transition process). You may remember that they had a house fire last May and haven't lived in their house since then. It was a long hard journey and the house still needs a lot of work done to it but it was great to see the expression on my nephew's face when he said "You mean we get to sleep HERE...TONIGHT!!" It was pure joy.
I also had the joy of being present at my neice's baptism ceremony this past weekend. One of the things that we miss the most when we are out of the country are all of the special occasions with family, so it was great to be able to participate in this joyful occasion and to see what God is doing in her life.
My most recent joyful moment occurred just a little while ago when Dave phoned to say that he had handed in his last paper for the semester. He had struggled to get the last couple of papers completed and I was called in to edit and work through his thoughts with him. It is a great relief to know that it is done and that we can look forward to Dave's family arriving in the next little while.
Here is hoping that you have had many opportunities to rejoice this week as well!