As we usher in Advent 2023, we embark on a journey not just through time but through the profound depths of hope. C.S. Lewis once remarked, “Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not…a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do.” In this season of Advent, we too look forward with hope, not as a mere flight of fancy, but as an integral part of our Christian walk.
The Essence of Hope in Advent
The story of Advent is a tapestry woven with the golden threads of hope. In the scriptures, the prophets spoke of a coming Messiah, a beacon of hope for a world in shadow. Their words were not just prophecies but promises, assurances of a hope that was to be fulfilled in Christ. Lewis, in his exploration of Christian themes, often touched upon this notion of fulfilled promises. Hope, in the Christian sense, is more than optimism; it is the assurance of things promised, the conviction of things unseen.
Hope in Today’s World
In our modern world, especially as we navigate the complexities of 2023, hope can sometimes feel elusive. Yet, the essence of Advent hope remains unchanged. It’s a beacon that shines just as brightly now as it did over two millennia ago. Lewis, writing in a time of global uncertainty, understood this well. He argued that hope in Christ is the anchor that holds us steady, amidst the ever-changing tides of the world. This Advent, as we reflect on the year past and look to the future, we find our anchor in the enduring hope of Christ’s birth and His eventual return.
Practicing Hope in Advent
But how do we, in the midst of our daily lives, practice this Advent hope? Lewis offers a clue when he writes, “I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away.” In the face of the divine, our uncertainties transform into hope. During Advent, we can cultivate this hope through prayer, delving into the scriptures, and embracing our faith community. As we light the first candle of Advent, let it be a symbol of the hope we carry within us – a hope that illuminates the darkest corners of our hearts and our world.
Reflection and Anticipation
In the spirit of C.S. Lewis, let us ponder: How does the hope of Advent speak into your life today?
What promises of God are you holding onto as we enter this season?
As we journey through Advent, each week will unveil a new facet of this wondrous season – Peace, Joy, and Love. These are not just abstract concepts, but tangible experiences that find their fulfillment in the hope of Christ’s birth and His promised return.
A Journey of Hope: Conclusion
In conclusion, let us heed Lewis’s words: “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.” This Advent 2023, as we reflect on the theme of hope, let us remember that our hope is not in our circumstances, nor in the promises of this world, but in the unchanging love and faithfulness of God. This Advent 2023, may your journey of hope be a testament to the enduring truth of God’s promises.
How does this theme resonate with you in 2023? Let us journey together in this season of expectant waiting and hopeful anticipation.