Advent, 2017: Practicing Hope

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it.”

As winter draws near, days get shorter and colors fade from the horizon.  News of natural disasters, political unrest, as well as personal loss and despair weigh down on us.  Hope seems to be in short supply.

Advent invites us to let God’s love shine light into the world’s hopelessness. During this season of anticipation and longing, Christians have a unique opportunity to practice hope, to build up strength for hard times. It teaches us to find ways to reflect God’s coming light to the world around us.

This year’s Advent theme invites us to consider new ways to experience and celebrate hope in our lives. Just as we need to exercise our physical muscles to gain strength and stamina, so we need ways to exercise our spiritual selves, to practice being hopeful.

We invite you to consider how you might practice hope during Advent. At Sunday Forum on the first Sunday of Advent (December 3), members of Gloria Dei shared where and how they have found hope or light in the midst of times of despair or challenge in their lives. Throughout the month, we are inviting you to describe practices or rituals you use to help practice hope. Messages and examples are being posted below and in the display case near the parking lot entrance in the lower level at church.

We know God’s light will be shining. We are invited to practice shining that light into the world.

Do you have a way you practice hope that you’d be able to share with the rest of us? Send Pastor Lois or Katie LeClair your thoughts.

Read our Advent blog posts here:

Day 9 Jayne Hovda 

Day 8 John Teipel

Day 7 Garth Englund

Day 6 Erika Taibl

Day 5 Drew Stever

Day 4 Dave Schutt

Day 3 Dan Lambrides

Day 2 Betsy Diekema

Day 1 Beth Ann Ahlers