Second Sunday of Advent
With the candle of unconditional love shining brightly, the candle of hope stands next in line. Our hope ebbs and flows. It is as seasonal and temperamental as Advent stars, beeswax candles, and putz displays. In this season, we hope for a lot of things. We hope for victory on the football field (or ice rink or basketball court). We hope the empty spaces underneath our Christmas trees will be filled with an abundance of stuff that will give our lives worth and value and status. We hope for the safe and glorious homecomings of beloved brothers and sisters. We hope the setting sun will bring us better, brighter days.
Our sense of hope becomes stronger and more convicted when we want something.
Unceasing hope, however, is a hope that has no beginning and no ending. It has nothing to do with what we want. It is a constant yearning, a perpetual belief that God has something more for us, something better than what we already have.
In this season of hope, may we cling to an unceasing hope—a hope that does not rise and fall with our fickle desires, a hope that audaciously challenges our desire to give up. Unceasing hope steadily and repeatedly grounds us in what is best for the rest of Creation. To light a candle of unceasing hope means that we hope not just for us and for ours, but for all the world and that we will not cease to hope until God’s best intentions for all are fulfilled.
Let Charles Wesley’s excellent Advent hymn guide the way: Come, O long-expected Jesus, born to set your people free; From our fears and sins release us; O, in you our rest shall be. Israel’s strength and consolation, hope to all the earth impart, Dear desire of ev’ry nation, joy of ev’ry longing heart.
Kerry Krauss, pastor, Moravian Church
Sister Bay. Wisconsin