I’m working through a Margaret Feinberg Advent devotional with a group of women over the past few weeks. It’s inviting us into the hope, the joy, the expectant waiting of the Christmas season. It’s inviting me to slow down, look around, and breathe deeply.
It’s challenging my conviction.
This past week we looked at Mary’s song and Hannah’s song and I was overwhelmed by how confident these women were that God would restore order and make things right. Their confidence comes at a stark contrast to how overwhelmed I feel by the violence, pain, poverty, and injustice that surrounds me here in Guatemala and that I see around the world.
This week, I prayed for a bit of that assurance that, in fact, this weary world could rejoice.
I’ve found a bit of assurance over the past few days that I wanted to share with anyone else who may be having a hard time hoping in a season that should be bursting with hope.
- 6 O’clock Prayer – The ever spirit led and wise Pastor Tim Hoekstra in Chicago is inviting us into a simple prayer for peace at 6am and 6pm. Wherever you are, whatever your context, a simple prayer – “God, Unite Us. Make Things Clear. Bring Justice.” I usually find myself blowdrying my hair at 6am (the prayer is posted in my bathroom) and running or making dinner at 6pm (the prayer is posted in my kitchen. This simple act of unity and prayer reminded me that I’m not helpless or hopeless. I can do something. We can do something.
- A spoken word poem – Advent Lament, Brave Merry Christmas – a beautiful, haunting reminder of the power of the Christmas story. I feel like these women put my struggle and pain in this Advent season into this poem. My soul does need a ceasefire. I do wonder how a weary world can rejoice.
I’m thankful for these small sources of assurance. And so, as I sit under the sparkly lights of my Christmas tree, I breathe deeply and remember that hope is deeply intertwined in lament, joy in suffering, beauty in affliction.