Advent 1



We are looking forward to celebrating the tradition of Advent together and lighting our first candle this week!  We hope to all light our first candle, the candle of Hope, together on Sunday, December 3rd during the video at 6pm. However, if that time frame doesn’t work for you, that’s totally ok. The video will be available anytime after that! If you received one of our advent kits, you can follow along in your devotional book. If you didn’t get an advent kit, below you’ll find scriptures, prayers, and some other tools to help you participate in Advent below.


He who hopes in God trusts God, Whom he never sees, to bring him ti the possession of things that are beyond imagination.

Thomas Merton


Remember that Christ came as a servant to the Jews to show that God is true to the promises he made to their ancestors. He also came so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercies to them. That is what the psalmist meant when he wrote: “For this, I will praise you among the Gentiles;  I will sing praises to your name.” And in another place it is written, “Rejoice with his people, you Gentiles.”  And yet again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles. Praise him, all you people of the earth. And in another place Isaiah said, “The heir to David’s throne will come, and he will rule over the Gentiles. They will place their hope on him.” I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.


Romans 15:8-13


On this first week of Advent, let us turn to hope. For it is hope that sustains our longing during seasons of difficulty in life. This longing is not simple escapism to get us away from the problems we encounter, as those who have not tasted the joy of walking with God may assume. The longing the Christian experiences is a longing for the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. It’s a desire to fully experience the goodness of God, to see his creation shed it’s garments stained by injustice and evil, and obtain the shroud of love and peace.

Without this longing, we fall into the trap of complacency or desperation. Complacency causes us to live detached from the responsibility given to us by God. It whispers to us that what we do in this life has no real meaning…implying that the simple passing of time will change our circumstances. Desperation in contrast, causes us to live in frantic and exasperated state. It tells us no relief is coming unless we manufacture it ourselves.

The greek word for hope used in the New Testament is defined as, “that in which one confides or to which he flees for refuge.” This type of hope is the flame that fuels the flame of our Christian longing. Our hope comes not from the simple passing of time  or from the desperate actions we can muster…but from the GOD OF HOPE.



Almighty God, my deepest longing is to know and experience your goodness in all its fullness. To see your Kingdom realized here on earth in all its completeness and glory. And so I wait earnestly for you and your kingdom. Help me to be an active participant in the waiting…to not slip into the trap of complacency, but to actively look for where your Kingdom is moving. Encourage my heart in my waiting. Remind me of your power and goodness that I might not fall to desperation and take matters into my own hands. At the end of the day, my hope is IN you Jesus. Your person and your presence sustains me.