WE FOCUS ON HOPE as we light the first candle of the Advent wreath. We pray that the radiance from the candle will enlighten the eyes of our hearts so that we will know the hope to which we have been called. (See Ephesians 1:18.) We pray that even in times of deepest darkness, we will have eyes to see how to turn swords into plowshares. Hope is our belief that God can bring beauty amidst brokenness—like a kaleidoscope whose stunning patterns become visible when light shines through the broken pieces of glass contained within.
During Advent, we slow down and let the candle of hope light our way forward. We step faithfully into each new moment because we believe in the promise that the Light of the world is coming and the darkness will not overcome it. Emmanuel dwells among us to share both in our moments of light and our moments of darkness.
We are never alone. There is nowhere we can go and nothing we can do that will ever separate us from God. No matter how dark, lonely, or distant we may feel, we seek to open the eyes of our hearts and claim the hope to which we are called. Hope is the radiant light of God beaming both upon us and within us.
– Sharon Seyfarth Garner
Mandalas, Candles, and Prayer
From pages 23-24 of Mandalas, Candles, and Prayer: A Simply Centered Advent by Sharon Seyfarth Garner. Copyright © 2017 by Sharon Seyfarth Garner. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
When have you experienced hope? Share your thoughts.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Psalm 85:10, NRSV
This Week: pray for peace. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
Did You Know?
In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.
This week we remember: Dorothy Day (December 6).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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