I stood mesmerized by the flame that flickered and cast shadows on the walls of our kitchen. My family was gathered around the table and dinner was about to begin. I didn’t know, what I didn’t know. It wasn’t until I was an adult I discovered that I was searching for hope.
On this particular day, we were celebrating the first Sunday of Advent. My dad lit a purple candle that filled one indentation in the wreath adorned with plastic greenery. He read a prayer out loud in solemn tones. My brothers, mom, and I dutifully bowed our heads in reverence.
These memories of Advent as a preteen led to my love of this season and the desire to grasp the deeper nuances that the four weeks held in its grip.
On that Sunday, so many years ago, I saw what hope looked like. In my heart, I sensed a hope that continues to define and refine me to this day.
I didn’t know I was searching for hope. I didn’t realize the hope I craved was named Jesus. His arrival and life on earth changed everything for me.
Searching for Hope This First Week of Advent
I wonder if you experienced an event or time in your life that led you in a different direction. Or if something convicted you to search for hope in your own life. Maybe it’s a journey that is still unfolding for you.
The first week of Advent is the perfect time to reflect on hope.
Jesus is coming! We wait with anticipation and expectancy for the joy and love that He promised to bring.
Our eyes look ahead to the birth as we prepare our homes, families, and ourselves for the miracle of the newborn King.
Jesus is coming! The Light of the World comes to dispel the darkness and despair. He is our HOPE and saving grace. Jesus is the everything we are seeking!
Why Hope, Why Now?
We live in a broken, busy, and bewildered world. The world’s goal is to keep us busy and distract us from choosing intentionality and presence in our lives.
From my perspective, the world is doing a great job of reworking our focus. Let’s change that beginning today.
Let’s begin this first week of Advent not only searching for hope but slowing down long enough to find the glimmers of hope in our own lives. Isaiah 1:5 says, “The whole head is hurt, and the whole heart is sick.” We are called to listen and pay attention (Is. 1:2). The directive is to hear the word of the Lord.
What if we begin the search by turning to the truth in God’s Word? What would it look like to read and reflect on one verse each day this week?
Let’s invite God to join us as we prepare our hearts, minds, and souls for the arrival of Jesus.
Advent Week One Scripture to Lead Us Toward Hope
Week 1, Day 1: Listen, heavens and pay attention, earth … Hear the word of the Lord. (Is. 1:2, 10, CSB)
Week 1, Day 2: Learn to do what is good. Pursue justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause. (Is. 1:17, CSB)
Week 1, Day 3: The pride of mankind will be humbled, and human loftiness will be brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted on that day. (Is. 2:11, CSB)
Week 1, Day 4: Then I heard the voice of the Lord asking: Who should I send? Who will go for us? I said: Here I am. Send me. (Is. 6:8, CSB)
Week 1, Day 5: Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel. (Is. 7:14, CSB)
Journeying through Advent with peace and hope!