This year’s Advent season will be like none before. As the year began, there were high hopes of 2020 being a year when visions and plans would be fulfilled, but as the year progressed many of these hopes were dashed as so many found themselves simply trying to survive each day. Perhaps, the most disappointing part of 2020 was watching as people began losing hope and turning to despair as they came to grips with the fact that, as humans, we can’t control or manage everything in life.
It would be easy to put Advent on the back burner, forgetting that it is a time when we rejoice and give God praise for the fulfillment of scripture. In the new work, Hope: An Advent Journey, author Olu Brown encourages readers to reclaim Advent as something already here, not a season waiting to arrive. Matthew’s gospel speaks of Jesus as Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” This name does not speak of the future, but of the present.
In spite of our present difficulties, we have Emmanuel. Our hope is not based on external situations, but eternal promises. This Advent season can be the best ever if you dare to embrace the hope of Jesus right now, knowing that God’s grace and love are present to carry you through the most challenging times in your life.