One more Prayer Card for your Book of Hope
Thank you to Bek Baxter ~ found on Pinterest
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.
~ Isaiah 9:2
Although these words of Isaiah were written thousands of years ago, they are still relevant today. They remind us that people have always been aware of the dark side of humanity in which terror, fear, and uncertainty for one’s survival has been present. Some have a doomsday mentality and think that all is lost. Some say: “Well, this world doesn’t really matter anyway. Our goal is to get to heaven.”
Beloved friends, could you look deep into the ancient words and discover that our world does matter to God? It does matter that people are oppressed. It matters that there are people working to restore human love and dignity. It matters that we care for creation with tender compassion and not abuse. This Advent season is a time to reflect upon a God that says that what happens here really does matter.
The Advent season is a time of preparation to receive the God who says we matter. When we take an honest look at what is happening in the world today, we cannot help but see it as a time of darkness in which we long for light to come. We sing the words: O come, O come, Emmanuel – – Emmanuel meaning God with us. We long for the God of great compassionate love who comes to be among us and live in us and through us and as us.
This is the promise of Christmas; this is the Hope to which we are called:
that the God who says we matter came to earth as a child born in Bethlehem to shine the light that we too may live as “little Christs”, living with the help of God’s Presence with us every day.
Arise, shine, for your light has come ~ ~ ~ Jesus is the Light of the world, and so are we! Let your light so shine.
A link that goes deeper into this theme, by C.S. Lewis:
Notes to Myself ~ ~ ~
How do we offer a word of hope to others?
Often we feel we need to say something specific about God.
So we try to come up with ways we can talk about God with our families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. . . or even strangers. Sometimes people are interested in having a conversation about God. At other times, this can come across as judgmental and actually create divisions . . . we can overdo it in our enthusiasm.
Usually the way the Spirit works best is when the word becomes a living word and comes through our very being as love, joy, and peace. These hopeful “fruits of the Spirit” (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control) speak louder than any words
St. Francis of Assisi once said: “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.”
Perhaps we could find creative ways to BE a message of hope as we become more and more like Christ in our own lives? Perhaps.
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus,
come as footprints in the snow and show us Your way . . .
You who bring the scattered home . . .
You who bring streams to the desert . . .
Come softly to us in the Advent season.
Bring us home by way of Your path . . .
Open our eyes and ears.
Revive the desert places in us that we may yet blossom.
Don’t let the world be cold.
Don’t let the world be dry.
But bring Your promises close to it. Freshen it.
And let us stand on the tiptoes of expectation,
daily through Advent . . .
convinced that we will find Your footprints on our paths,
and that one day soon we may see the new heavens
and the new earth.
With gratitude for Your promises . . . Amen.
~ Donna Schaper, in Stir Up Your Power
Photo at Pinterest
“Yet in Thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.”
Sometimes the world is a very sad place . . .
but today we light the candle of HOPE!
With all that has been happening in recent times,
we hope for a better world ~
We hope for peace.
We hope for joy.
We hope for love.
We know that if we spend too much time thinking about the problems of the world, we find ourselves sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness of despair.
But Advent is a time of Hope. We are a people of Hope and we know for sure that in the dark street shines the Everlasting Light –
in the darkness dwells the Hope of all eternity.
For in Jesus we know that God has come to live in us and through us,
empowering us to overcome all the forces of darkness.
Today we light a candle of HOPE, and thousands throughout the world will light their candles. Imagine that light growing brighter and stronger each day as we carry that light out into the world and live as people of Hope.
Our Light has come – and we shine that Light of Hope.
Photo on Pinterest