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DEC. 5 | Hope and Violence

“A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more.”   This prophecy from Jeremiah, quoted in Matthew 2:18, doesn’t generally make it into today’s Christmas pageant. We would prefer the story to end with the wise men offering their gifts to baby Jesus on a silent and starry…

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DEC. 4 | Hope in a Polarized Culture

To say we live in a polarized world is beyond obvious. We see divisions everywhere we turn: between Republicans and Democrats, between mask-wearers and mask-rejecters, between supporters of Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter; and between pineapple on or off pizza (my students tell me this is a divisive issue!) Churches have even split over disagreements about meeting in person versus worshipping online.…

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DEC. 3 | Hope Despite Failure

We fail. It is part of being human. We fear it. We try to avoid it. Yet, we still do it. In Advent, we celebrate the first coming of Jesus Christ and anticipate His second coming. But truth be told, Jesus continually comes into our lives, especially around failure. When he went out fishing, Peter couldn’t have known that he and his brother would…

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DEC. 2 | The Hope of Eternity

In his second letter to the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul encouraged the believers there with these words: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day-by-day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what…

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DEC. 1 | Hope in a shut-down COVID world

This year, many of the things we have always taken for granted - Little League games, weddings, dinners out, and travel - were stripped away. We lost so much. COVID-19 derailed our plans and undermined important events, experiences, and relationships that give meaning to our lives. And because there is no timetable for cultural recovery, it has left many of us feeling hopeless. When…

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NOV. 29 | 1st Sunday of Advent – Hope

Advent (literally the “coming”) celebrates the coming of Christ, the light of the world. The Church has observed this season for the past 1,600 years (since the mid-400s) and the Western Church particularly uses the four weeks (and four Sundays) prior to Christmas to recognize the “coming” of Christ in three ways. First, the coming of Christ as a babe born in Bethlehem to…

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Guided by Hope, An Advent Devotional

Has there been a time in history when people needed more hope in their lives? Certainly there have been tougher times than we are going through right now. However, with Covid-19, raging fires that have destroyed homes and businesses, political division in our nation, and racial tensions that have caused unbridled anger among mankind, we could all use a little hope concerning the future.…

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