Hope is a powerful starting point for the Advent experience. If I imagine my faith as a ship, I think hope is at the helm. Jesus came into this world to make it possible for us to share eternity with him! While I know that this is true, it is hard to hold onto when faced with the crushing disappointments of life in a fallen world. Pain, loneliness, loss, and other struggles make the hope of heaven seem very far away. Hope feels small and faint like the flicker of a candle or the moon surrounded by the vastness of the night sky. So, how do we maintain our hope and expectation that the promise of Christ will be kept?
Most importantly, we rely on the Holy Spirit. He lives and works in our hearts drawing us closer to the Father. In the book of Romans, Paul references Isaiah as he reminds the young church of all the promises God made to his children which have been fulfilled in Christ. “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles, in him will the Gentiles hope” (v.12).
We need reminders! Paul closes his letter with this prayer; “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (v.13). What does “abounding” in hope look like? Songs, dances, symphonies, sculptures and every other effusion of creativity has the capacity to carry hope in God’s promises to us. Everything from Handel’s Messiah to “Jesus Loves Me” can harness and spread hope.
As we move together through this creative experience of Advent, meditate on the works of creativity that serve as reminders of your hope in Christ. We light this candle of expectation. May it remind us of his great promise to us. May it stir our hearts to create for the sake of hope.
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If you are an artist/musician/poet/writer/etc. who would like to participate in #ResonateAdvent creatively, click here to find out how you can take part!