Sunday, November 28, marked the official beginning of Advent 2021. Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas Day when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. Promised to Abraham thousands of years ago, it finds fulfillment in the birth of a baby, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born to a virgin, Mary and her husband, Joseph.

Each of the four Sundays of Advent, represented by a candle, focus on a characteristic of the reign of Jesus as Messiah. These four are hope, love, joy and peace. This week the readings will focus on hope. Today we begin with the proclamation of the Messiah, recorded by Isaiah many years ago.

6For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!

Isaiah 9:6-7

We need this announcement of good news as much today as Israel needed it thousands of years ago. In a culture divided and cracked like an earthen pot left out in the elements, a bit of hope, a ray of light is refreshment to our souls. May our eyes see, our ears hear and our hearts understand the gift of the Child, Jesus.

How does your soul need a fresh surge of hope today? Where have you lost hope? How can you position yourself to experience the hope Jesus provides in a new way this week?

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