December 6: Light of Hope


Advent Devotion: The Light of Hope

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mark 13:24-37

The Season of Advent is here!  A season full of lights!  The Candle of Hope is often the first Advent candle lighted.

Yet, “hope” is not the first thing that comes to mind in today’s reading from Mark. In fact, it’s jarring to hear prophecies of destruction and persecution.  And yet, that’s where today’s passage eventually takes me.

Those early followers of Jesus were crying out for justice and peace.  Still today, followers of Jesus seek justice and peace.  With tragedy all around it can be hard to find hope. Yet, hope calls to us this Advent.

We are invited to wait and watch. Not to simply watch the passing of hours or crossing off each day as it ends.  Wait like you are preparing for the arrival of something new –  something or someone who will turn your world upside down.

Wait like you are preparing to welcome a new child into your home.  Make the effort; expend energy to make sure that your home is ready, that your heart is big enough, that your mind is open and ready to accept the child you are given.

Take time to focus on what it means to find hope in our daily living. As we busy ourselves with activities of Christmas, let’s also open our lives to the reality of God’s presence here and now.

I can’t help but think of the Girl Scout motto as I read Mark today: "Be Prepared."

Be prepared for anything – the imagined and the yet unimagined.  Move out into the world with hope and a willingness to work toward peace and justice.

Mark tells us all:  Keep Awake - Be Alert – Beware, for God is coming. The light of the Advent wreath is a reminder of the ambiguity that we followers of Jesus live with, in the here and now, and in the not-yet of life.   May hope’s light lead you to places where peace and justice are lacking.

The world is about to turn and God requests our presence in the process.  After all,  “Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes with which Christ looks out with compassion to the world. Yours are the feet with which Christ is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which Christ is to bless us now.”   – Teresa of Avila

Rev. Dr. Deana J. Reed
SFTS Director of Field Education
SFTS MDiv 1987, DMin 2003