“My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit rejoiceth in God my Savior. … Because He hath done great things for me and Holy is His name.” Luke 1: 46-49
Advent is a time of Hope. As Christians, we are a people of hope and our hope is in The Lord. Without hope in our lives a reason for living ceases to exist. It could be said we exist for love. In reality we exist because of love, the Divine Love of God our Creator.
What is love without hope? Love IS hope; the hope our love is received; the hope our love is returned; the hope our love is shared, thereby making the earth a better place for all mankind. We love God our Creator and hope in the saving grace of His Son, Jesus our Savior, that we might one day live in Love Eternal. We hope for the Life to come!
Hope begins in our soul, spreads to our heart, and softly sings to our mind. It is from the mind our hope springs forth into action. To nuture an attitude of hope we must feed the mind. We need to fill it with reminders to look for and live in hope, lest we forget who we are … a people of hope. We prepare oursevles for the Life to come by spending time in the greatest story of hope there is, God’s Word, The Holy Bible. In doing so we enlighten our mind with a proper diet, which in turn enlivens our heart, which then nurtures our soul, thus enabling the entire cycle of hope to continue. It radiates from our soul to our heart, to our mind, outward to the universe, ultimately to God, and then back to our soul. What we put out in the universe comes back to us tenfold.
Advent is the perfect time to rediscover or reinforce hope in our lives. It is a time of preparation; for getting to know our true selves better; for expanding our vision of hope to include all those around us. Daily reading in and meditating on the Gospels, and supplementing it with prayer and stillness before God prepares us in the best way possible for the coming of Jesus, not only into our own hearts and lives but into the world. If we have hope others will too. We become a channel of Hope to all. We prepare the Way of The Lord.
We can begin our own personal preparation by starting in God’s Word. Start with a simple prayer: “Through you most Holy Word, Lord, I invite you into my heart. Transform me according to you will.” If you are new to this, at first try reading only one paragraph, or only one verse. A good place to begin is with John 1:1-9, “In the beginning there was the Word…” Read slowly, stopping to envision it in your mind as if you are there. Read it again; maybe even aloud. Meditate a minute or two on what this means to your own life, or think of God’s great love for us. Thank God for this time to grow in hope and love, then go about your day. Over time He will transform you. A few minutes a day, repeated again and again, becomes a habit, becomes something to look forward to … spending time with Our Lord. Dare I say, you will be hoping for more?
On choosing a time, and a place: Bibles come in all sizes, even on line, even on phone apps. If a quiet moment and place at home are out of the question, then possibly in the car before going into work, or on line at your desk during break time. Find a few minutes that work for you. God will be there whenever and wherever it is!