Welcome to Advent! Some of my friends who work at the Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts at Biola sent me a link to their very cool new online Advent calendar, which you can access here. They described it this way:
Transforming the familiar Advent calendar — a cardboard home waiting to reveal prized milk chocolate — Biola University’s Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts has developed the Advent Project, a beautiful composition of art, words, Scripture, music and thoughtful prayer, all online. The Advent Project brings together those traditional chocolate calendars with the deep contemplation of the days leading up to God’s incarnation on this earth by revealing a new delicacy of art and Scripture each day.
Also, as I promised last week, I’ll be reposting some reflections I wrote a few years ago for each Sunday of Advent. Here’s an excerpt from the reflection I wrote for the first Sunday, when we light the “hope” candle (you can read the whole thing here).
We often think of hope for the future as something that is predicated on circumstances. If the economy starts climbing upward, then we hope. If our candidate seems to be pulling ahead in the polls, then we hope. If I get the promotion, or if my family acts the way I think they should, or if I get the grades I wanted, then I hope. “It gives me hope,” we say.
What strikes me is that this is the opposite of what Paul says brings hope . . .