If you know me, you know I love Advent. It’s such a simple tradition (please don’t make it hard!). The four candles on the advent wreath symbolize hope, peace, love and joy. We light them on the four Sundays preceding Christmas (that first Sunday sneaks up on you because it’s often in November). We don’t use a script, it doesn’t take much time, but it makes all the difference.
The first Sunday, right after Thanksgiving, we lit the first candle. Because I hadn’t prepared anything, I simply searched in Gospel Library for ‘Hope.” The results took my breath away.
Hope is the confident expectation of and longing for the promised blessings of righteousness. The scriptures often speak of hope as anticipation of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.
The word hope is sometimes misunderstood. In our everyday language, the word often has a hint of uncertainty. For example, we may say that we hope for a change in the weather or a visit from a friend. In the language of the gospel, however, the word hope is sure, unwavering, and active. Prophets speak of having a “firm hope” (Alma 34:41) and a “lively hope” (1 Peter 1:3).
It’s been a hard, hard year (you’ll soon grow weary of me saying that) and I have so many hopes for my children. But I realized my hope has become weak and uncertain.
I throw it around with such carelessness, “I hope that letter comes in the mail.” “I hope that surgery goes well.” It’s like taking the great golden sun and using it as a night light.
I’m pushing aside the weak wishes and claiming a perfect brightness of hope; a knowledge of God’s goodness and wisdom.
The essay on Hope ends with this scripture-“Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.”(2 Nephi 31:20). That same scripture is nestled on my windowsill.
I’m trusting God.
Sending love to you and yours.