For a child has been born for us, a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
As I began to think about what I wanted to share with you this Advent season, my mind was immediately flooded with thoughts of expectation. I began scouring the internet in search of some profound quote that I might share about the joy of expectation, some inspiring word about hope.
But most of the quotes easily discovered were not about the joyful. The vast majority were about the disappointments of hopes unrealized. Many advised us to lower our expectations, or, better yet, to not have expectations of people at all. After all, it is difficult to be disappointed if things don’t happen in the way we would like if we never believed they would in the first place.
I suppose this is a safe and practical way to live, but who needs safe and practical in a world still filled with wonder and miracles?
Lately, the wonder has been difficult to fathom and the miracles more difficult to see, but they are still happening. The miracles of joy and love and peace and hope are still springing forth. Amidst the confusion and the mean spiritedness of our days, the spirit of the Christ-child is still being born again and again.
We are the beneficiaries of Hope Incarnate.
We who wait in this Advent Season with great anticipation. We who are breathed and born in Hope of the coming of the Christ child.
We must expect Joy! We must expect Love. We must expect Peace. We must expect the in-breaking of Christ among us.
We must expect Light to show up in the midst of darkness.
We must expect Peace to show up in the turbulence of our storms.
We must expect Hope to show up in the desolate of places.
We must expect Generosity to show up where scarcity abounds.
We must expect Life to spring forth from where death has been pronounced. The in-breaking of the Christ is to be expected. Because we know that Christ has come!
For unto us a child has been born. Unto us a Son has been given. And authority rests upon His shoulders. And He is named Wonderful. Counselor. Mighty God. Everlasting Father. Prince of Peace.
May this Advent Season fill our hearts with Great Expectation of what is possible when Hope is born anew. May we expect Joy and Love and Peace and the in-breaking of Christ through our hearts and feet and hands as we care for one another. May the Light of the Christ within us shine through.
Reminding us...we are the Christmas we are waiting for and when we serve, Joy is to be expected.
Rev. Traci Blackmon