The nights come on us more quickly these days; we are spending more time without the sun’s light and warmth. We have made hard decisions about family gatherings at Thanksgiving and will need to make more now as Christmas celebrations loom before us. Some of us have been directly affected by the Corona Virus, others are trying to stay outside of its grasp. Routines for work, school, travel, entertainment are altered often robbing us of human contact and connection. Couple all of these with whatever else we are experiencing personally, and we can truthfully say this is a harsh time, a time yearning for hope. The words to the hymn In Darkest Night are heavy but true:
In deepest night, in darkest days, when harps are hung no songs we raise When silence must suffice as praise, yet sounding in us quietly, there is the song of God. When friend was lost, when friend deceived, dear Jesus wept, God was bereaved; So with us in our grief God grieves, and round about us mournfully there are the tears of God. When through the waters winds our path, around us pain, around us death: Deep calls to deep, a saving breath, and found beside us faithfully there is the love of God.
The Advent God of Hope always walks beside us, and when it feels like we cannot go on, he carries us close to his heart. He does this by placing healing people around us, by giving us songs to sing, and prayers to pray.
God meets our needs; then aids us to reach out and help others. The Advent God of Hope is a giving God enthusing us to share words of encouragement, comfort, and care when “the darkest night” has visited a family or friend. Helping others helps ourselves. Lifting another’s care lightens our load. Bringing hope to friend or stranger renews hope with us.
Prayer: O come O come Immanuel. Amen
Evangelical Lutheran Worship # 699 “In Deepest Night”
Tomorrow: Hope gracing our relationships