Hope During Advent

Christmas at Ebenezer

Dear Faith Family at Ebenezer,

I wonder if most of us use the word, “hope,” to describe things we wish would happenbut probably won’t, or things we want that are completely beyond our control? “I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.” “I hope I win the lottery.” “I hope the economy improves. ”Sometimes the word “hope” stands in for our feelings of vulnerability in the face of patterns and forces so much bigger and more powerful than us. One of the great joys and gifts of Christian life and faith is our unique and grace-filled relationship with hope. Biblical hope is the posture we assume and the mindset we adopt as we wait for the things that God will certainly do. We don’t hope for peace because peace seems so unlikely – we hope for peace because God has promised that peace is the way the human story will end. So we wait, in hope and confidence, for the fullness of God’sdream to be realized.

Hope is the watchword of Christians in Advent. And we gather each year around the manger and the miracle of the Incarnation to celebrate once again this visible assurance that our hope is not in vain.

When colleagues, friends, and members of other congregations ask about our ministry at Ebenezer, I tell them that we are hopeful. What a gift that is – to wait with trust and confidence for the things that God will certainly accomplish in and through this congregation! I am overwhelmed by our capacity for engagement and compassion andlove. I am encouraged by the wealth of spiritual gifts within our faith community. I am humbled by the individual expressions of generosity by our members, and by the corporate generosity we embody as a Church. I am excited to move into 2020 with wide eyes and a hopeful heart!

May God’s richest blessings of hope and peace be with you and your loved ones during these seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany!

-Pastor Paul