“Lord of All Hopefulness” ELW #765
For me, Advent has been time in the liturgical year that’s too busy to appreciate fully. End of semester tests and papers to write, Christmas programs to memorize, gifts to buy and wrap, budgets and annual reports to finalize – all due during December. And yet, Advent calls us to put aside some of our busyness and be calm.
Isn’t this a good year to take time for calm remembrance of the past and anticipation for the future when we can all see one another in-person again? I definitely want to remember the joys of family and church gatherings and the hopefulness of all the times of being together to come. I want to remember visiting my grandmother in the nursing home and hearing my mother singing “Jeg er så glad hver julekveld” (ELW #271). I want to remember my dad calling me up to recite my Christmas program Bible verse for the congregation he was serving in interim. (No warning; it was kind of a trauma!) I want to remember all the drives to my parent’s home with our dog bouncing around in my lap in joyous expectation of the treats to come. I want to remember Dinner Church and church council meetings that close with all holding hands in prayer.
The hymn “Lord of All Hopefulness” has been my unending earworm these past months. The words of this hymn lead us to a calm assurance throughout the day. Hopefulness and joy, eagerness and faith, kindliness and grace, gentleness and calm, God’s bliss, God’s strength, God’s love, God’s peace – all these words help us recognize our relationship with God. We just have to allow ourselves to take a breath, listen, be calm and live in the hopeful promise of our Lord to be with us always.
Loving Lord, you know our fears and weaknesses in all days. Lead us to the hopefulness and the joy of celebrating the birth of Christ. Help us to be the hopeful and faithful people that your presence offers us so freely. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
To the Writers
of this devotional: