Through Advent we’re taking some purposeful time to fix our eyes on Christ – who makes Christmas a firm foundation for hope. Find out how you can join us below. But first, let us prepare our hearts for the season ahead.
Advent: (noun) the arrival of a notable person or thing (Oxford English Dictionary)
The shadow of lockdown is everywhere. Perhaps the sweet taste of Christmas approaching is tinged with the fear of what our celebrations might not be. Who we won’t see – perhaps because of travel restrictions, shielding loved ones from risk of the virus, or rules about how many people will be allowed to gather. What we might not be able to afford – perhaps because of job losses, or the uncertainty of our financial futures. The beloved church gatherings, carol services and candlelight gatherings we may not be able to attend.
Hope is not locked out
As the word advent reminds us, we are celebrating an arrival – not one that may or may not happen, but the one who already arrived. The promised gift who did not disappoint.
Christ entered our world. No matter who else’s presence we can’t be in right now, our God is not socially distanced from us. Psalm 139 reminds us that, though we may feel unnoticed and isolated from the rest of the world, and though it may feel that there is darkness surrounding us, God never leaves us. Our hope, our comforter, our safe refuge is close to us.
‘Take heart,’ Jesus said. ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33)
A prayer attributed to St. Patrick to help you take hope in the reminder that we are never abandoned or alone and to prepare your heart for Advent.
’Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Christ.
May your salvation, Lord, be ever with us.’
Join Tearfund on an Advent journey toward Christmas as we take some time each day to be encouraged by Our present: hope. Sign up to join us online via daily emails.