- Storied Church
Writer M. Leslie Snyder Eaves
I vividly remember the month before I gave birth to my wonderful, smart, sassy daughter. I felt like a gliding whale. Sleep became illusive. No comfortable position existed, or when it did, my bladder had other plans. Yet, in quiet moments, when I felt her hiccup or move, I realized the time was fast approaching when she would no longer belong to me but belong to the world. Having a child is an act of hope. In this chaotic world, we seek to bring forth life and through that life hope for a better future.
I have always loved this time of Advent, this time of waiting and expectation. This time of contemplation and wonderment of what is to come. After becoming a mother, I can’t help but think about Mary and wonder what expectations and wonderings went through her head. What thoughts kept her up at night? What hopes did she have as she grew the baby that would one day become Jesus, the Christ?
Sure, we know her child would grow up to me who John the Baptist referred to as, “The one of who the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight… I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3: 11, NRSV)
To Mary, though, in this time before Jesus came into the world, He was her hope. Maybe her hope for redemption, for love, for acceptance. Maybe her hope for a world free from oppression. Or maybe a hopeful living prayer for an everlasting peace as the Psalmist proclaims, “In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.” (Psalm 72: 7, NRSV)
We will not all experience birth in the literal sense; however, we all have aspects of our lives where we may want to give birth to something… An idea made real, a change we want to see in the world or our lives, or maybe something more tangible like novel or even a new church.
During this Advent season I urge you to take some time away from the hustle and rush of expectations and listen for that “still small voice” whispering to you. What is your hope for the future?
What might you have been uniquely created to birth into this world? And when this thought or idea sparks within your heart, how will you prepare to make this change?
I leave you with the words of Paul, “May the God of hope fill you with all the joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15: 5, NRSV)
Prayer for the Second Week of Advent
Lord we come to you with open hearts and open minds during this time of preparation and contemplation.
We hope for a better future;
We hope for healing for all who have been hurt;
We hope for a peace for all;
We hope for that all may experience your profound love without judgement or shame.
Help us to see what we may do to bring about this vision of hope
Here we are Lord, ready to hold your people in our hearts.