Fourth Sunday of Advent December 20, 2015
Hope for the hurting
As Mary meets her cousin Elizabeth, her heart overflows with praise. She praises God for acting in ways that fly in the face of the assumptions of this fallen world. God favors and honors the very people others overlook (Luke 1:48). God shows special mercy not to those who have worldly success but to those who trust in him (v. 50). God provides good things for those who are hungry (v. 53). God gives position and prestige to those whom others despise (v. 52). Mary praises God, for (she boldly proclaims) with the coming of the Savior, God is changing things.
This is the final Sunday of Advent. Soon many of us will be celebrating our favorite day of the year. But among us there are likely a few who do not share this anticipation. For them, this holiday can be painful; while others celebrate, their hearts are filled with loneliness, loss, or unmet longing.
Are you one of them? Is this a painful time?
If so, may the Scripture speak to your heart, for the hope offered today is especially for you and others like you. God sees the overlooked, the hurting, the lonely, those filled with unmet longing. God sees, God knows, and God promises that your current experience is not the final word. Things will change. A new day is coming. There is great good in store.
If you are hurting today, may you embrace the Advent message of hope. It’s a hope that rests not on a holiday on the calendar but on the living God, who is not finished yet, who sees the ones whom others overlook, and who shows mercy to all who trust in him.
David Geyer, pastor, College Hill Moravian Church, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania