Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Our Eternal Advent Hope


Grief has a funny way of catching us off guard, doesn't it? It definitely caught me off guard this past weekend. As I was reading through the list of names in our prayers during worship, my eyes wondered down to the bottom of the list where my seminary friend Laura's name now was laying. I was able to get through the list of names, but then it came time to read Laura's name and the emotions took over. The tears poured down my face. I was able to compose myself...but barely...and get through the rest of the prayers. 

After the 8:30 am service, my colleague asked me if I wanted him to read the prayers at the later service. I was like "No I think I can get through them this time." The time came for the prayers and I read slowly through each name. Then the time came to read Laura's name again, so I took a deep breathe and proceeded on with the prayers as I uttered her name. This time, I was able to get through the prayers without any tears.

I have always been a crier...tears of joy and tears of sorrow have been intermingled throughout my life. I also have been known to cry at a Hallmark commercial or two. But so often those tears come as holy tears. Much like the waters of Baptism call and claim us as beloved children of God and cleanse us of our sins, our tears often help us to be reminded of that promise. Those holy tears are often a sign of new hope and promise.

I have been thinking a lot about Advent hope and promise in these last week especially because it seems like it is so hard to find that hope and promise in these days. During these days of Advent, it is important to remember that it is there; we just have to remember to look for it and savor it in this holy season. Jesus was born to an unlikely woman in the most unlikely of places. This promised Messiah came in the form of an infant son. God has a way of doing that; turning the ordinary into extraordinary---turning a simple chocolate bar into a flowing fountain of chocolate fondue. (Anyone else craving chocolate now?)

This infant Son came as the light in the midst of the darkness. This infant Son stands with us in a world that seems to be falling apart. This infant Son comes to calm our fears especially when it feels like our world, with good reason, is full of anxiety. This infant Son comes to call us each by name. This infant Son comes in the midst of our grief and promises to sit with us. 

Most of all, this infant Son comes as eternal Advent hope that is born in a manger in Bethlehem thousands of years ago to an unlikely woman Mary and her betrothed Joseph. This infant Son comes as OUR ETERNAL ADVENT HOPE! "The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight (O Little Town of Bethlehem, verse 1)."


I am linking up with these lovely ladies today: Holly and Testimony Tuesday, Kelly and the RaRa Linkup, Jennifer and Tell His Story and Holley and Coffee for your Heart!

 

 

28 comments:

  1. so beautiful! similar to how my hearing C's name twice on All Saints opened up waves of grief.... next calendar year I may start participating in a few more linkups; for now, I'm still trying to put one foot in front of the other whenever possible.

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    1. I think you would enjoy participating in more linkups. And you can do this...keep putting one foot in front of the other.

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    2. thanks, "one foot in front of the other" is exactly what I've been doing, and the steps have been adding up substantially ;) but you knew that :D

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  2. Tara, Thank you for sharing your heart. I would love for you to share with us at Seeking God. I have started a new blog party and would love you you to be a new friend at Sitting Among Friends Blog Party. http://youresewtrendy.blogspot.com

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    1. Jaime, Thank You! I will be sure to check out your new blog party.

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  3. Our eternal advent hope! What a peaceful thought to rest in. He came to give us hope, hope in this sad world. Thank you for sharing this.

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  4. Thanks, Tara! Words such as this are good reminders for the many people who are struggling to find joy and hope. On that spectacular day when Jesus was born, the world was not easy and living under Caesar brought many challenges to the Jews. Yet, Jesus came then also in the midst of the difficult times. Maybe He came during hard times or dark times to remind us He is always with us then also even when we don't "feel" His presence.

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    1. I agree...so many are struggling and need to hear/read these words. Thanks for stopping by, Pam!

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  5. Tara I am amazed at how often we are on similar veins. I have no idea why I wrote what I did, lol. It started off in a different direction...

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    1. Christy, I am always amazed too!

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  6. I love you, girlie! Prayers and cyber-hugs and chocolate all around! xoxo

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    1. Why I love you too, girlie! :) Yes, prayers, cyber-hugs and chocolate all around!!! xoxo

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  7. Thank you, Tara, for this encouraging reminder that Jesus is our light and hope in the midst of darkness, anxiety, and grief. I hope your friend Laura will be alright.

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    1. Trudy, thanks for stopping by. Sorry to be so vague...Laura actually lost her battle with cancer on November 30th which is why the tears began to fall during worship.

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    2. I'm so, so sorry you lost your friend, Tara. God be with you and help you through your grief.

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  8. Beautiful! "The infant son comes in the midst of our grief and promises to sit with us". Lovely! Hugs from afar!!!

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    1. Thanks, Mary! Hugs back at ya!

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  9. Had to come over here and return the favor, and what a wonderful post to read! Like you said...grief can catch us off guard, but so thankful to remember it's okay to feel it, as even our Savior felt it. But even more thankful to know the One that offers the comfort we need for that grief!

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    1. Thanks for returning the favor, Darcie! Yes, indeed our Savior felt grief too. I sometimes forget that!

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  10. Grief is a sneaky thing. It comes over when we least expect it. But grief is very healthy expression. Thank you for sharing your heart.

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    1. Grief really is a tricky and sneaky thing. Yes grief is healthy!

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  11. Our Eternal Hope - I love that. xo

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  12. Praying you experience God's deep comfort as you remember Laura. We are not as those without hope. <3 **hugs**

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Your comments totally make my day!