Thrill of Hope

What I love about Advent is the word literally means “coming” and the season itself is to cause us to watch for His coming. Are we watching? How much of his revealing do we miss? And does missing his arrival into our everyday lives cause us to become weary?

It’s in the season of Advent that I turn and focus far more, not because I’m not looking at other times of the year, but because everything is slowing for winter. The movements of people are slowing, church life is slowing, and I tend to catch Him moving in my daily more often. I’m not as busy this time of year. So I see. My mind isn’t running so fast. So I hear.

As I was reading through what some other people were doing for Advent, I heard a song in my mind. Now that isn’t unusual, except that the song was a direct response to my prayer from yesterdays post.

Jesus, I need you. I need you to break into all my weary places and bring me into that new and glorious morn. Make your new covenant real to me again. I remember what you said in Revelation 21:5 “Behold, I am making all things new.” Come make me new! Come redecorate my soul house and make it your own until my weary heart rejoices.

Advent – First Sunday Prayer

It’s like He is echoing My prayer back and answering me at the same time saying: Jesus, you’re not done with me. You’re doing a new thing. For all I’ve seen, I still believe. You’re doing a new thing.

Then I’m reading a book called Ragged. The place that stuck out to me in the book, in the chapter on generosity, was a little sentence out of the story of the prodigal son in the Bible. Specifically about the older brother. It said, “All that I have is yours!” Let’s look at the story real quick.

Luke 15:28-32 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

He doesn’t want to come in for the celebration that his brother is back. Why? Because he is angry. He’s worked this whole time for his father. The father says this, “Don’t you know that all I have is yours!” It hit me. It’s the New covenant. I prayed, “Make your new covenant real to me again.

All that is the fathers, is the sons! In Christ, in this new covenant – it’s given to us too.

When the world has made you weary it’s hard to find the thrill of hope. Pastor Chad asked in his message: When was the last time you were thrilled by hope? Answer that… what was the last time?

The “Older” prodigal son held his fists closed unwilling to reopen to his brother. He was weary from working. He was exhausted from trying to be good enough. He thought he had to earn his way! Instead of seeing what great love his father had, he was sideswiped by his fathers lavish generosity of love toward his brother. He forgot – He didn’t have to earn anything, all that was his Fathers was his!

When we’ve been wandering in the dark of exhaustion, pain, hurt, and lack, we forget that we don’t have to earn His love or gifts. We haven’t been called to live closed fisted. In Christ -this new covenant -given generously- we become hope dealers who help the weary world rejoice again.

He is coming! Can you see it? Advent is literally seeing His coming into your life. He’s inviting us on a journey. He leads, teaches, and gives us opportunity to step into the story that He is writing.

An opportunity to be generous arrived yesterday in front of me and I met it with joy. It’s been a while since giving was a joy like that. A thrill of hope. It means to be pierced through by hope. We are hope dealers. We are those who show up with His love and give it lavishly.

He is so good guys!! His love just kept giving more. In my last post I said, “O Holy Night , is one of my most favorite Christmas songs. Each year, it draws me in. If I am lucky I will catch a hearing of it from my daughter this year.” I had no idea that at church yesterday she would sing this exact song. It blessed me and further declared His great love to me. Our Father is a lavish giver! We don’t have to earn it. He freely gives it! Can you see it? Can you hear it? Can you believe it? Today, I can!

All is grace,

Starla

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