First Sunday of Advent

Psalm 33:22

May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.

We all hope for something—something expected to happen, or something longed for to happen, or something surprising to happen. During this time of Advent, we expect the birth of the Christ-child because we know that he holds for us the hope of salvation. We all need deliverance from the temptations and difficulties of life, and we hope for the fullness of that salvation through our faith and belief in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.

We also long for the coming of the Christ-child. There is something deep within each of us that calls out for the newness of life when everything is fresh and unspoiled. When you hold a baby, there is life pulsing in your arms with no expectations or pre-conceived ideas. In that moment, there is hope that a better world exists—a world full of light, peace, and love.

We hope for the surprise of Christmas in an unexpected gift, a gesture of friendship, or a word of love. Perhaps, however, the biggest surprise is discovering the baby Jesus within—God’s gift of grace freely given to each of us, not when we are perfect, but when we are in need.

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield (v. 20).