hope 22680cWe had guest preachers yesterday for our Capital Campaign, so I am posting a reflection from Midweek Advent.

Some days it is difficult to hope. We are all tired of Omicron, the on-going pandemic, and other news headlines, like severe storms, floods, global conflicts, and rumors of war.

I came across something Rev. Andy Stanley, a pastor in Atlanta wrote in 2020 about finding hope:

Sometimes I just want it to stop. Talk of COVID, looting, brutality. I lose my way. I become convinced that this “new normal” is real life. Then I meet an 87-year old man who talks of living through polio, diphtheria, Vietnam, protests and yet is still enchanted with life.

He seemed surprised when I said that 2020 must be especially challenging for him. “No,” he said, slowly, looking me straight in the eyes. “I learned a long time ago to not see the world through the printed headlines, I see the world through the people that surround me. I see the world with the realization that we love big. Therefore, I just choose to write my own headlines:
“Husband loves wife today.”
“Family drops everything to come to Grandma’s bedside.”
He patted my hand.
“Old man makes new friend.”

His words collide with my worries, freeing them from the tether I had been holding tight. They float away. I am left with a renewed spirit and a new way to write my own headlines.

Here are some of my headlines of hope this week:

Husband makes wife’s favorite food!
Children succeed in college and graduate studies!
Church grows in mission and membership even in a pandemic!
God loves us enough to become like us—Jesus gets us!

What are the headlines of hope you will write for yourself this week? God’s love is being incarnated all around us—in every season.

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