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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Phoebe Sexton
Director of Communication

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:25

A Word of Hope
For the first time in my life, I had an Advent calendar this year. As I set it up in the tiny Christmas corner in my apartment, I wondered how the daily experience would affect my holiday journey.

It took a lot of willpower that first week to not peek in all the doors. They were all sitting right there, completely available…what harm would it do to look ahead? I wanted to know what the future held!

But then I thought about how nice it would be to start each day in December off with a surprise. I was guaranteed a nice piece of chocolate, and anything beyond that would be extra sweet. Plus I’d have a chance to practice patience in a time of year filled with haste.

I must say I enjoyed this new addition to my holiday traditions. Every time I remembered to check the day’s door, whether it was as soon as my eyes opened in the morning or when I was whisking out the door to work, I was given a moment to stop and focus on this one small gift, given to me with love.

The excitement and wonder of the unknown kept me intrigued throughout the Advent season—and wonder also came at things other than what else would be in the day’s compartment. How difficult will it be to extract this piece of chocolate today? Will I need to somehow dismantle the entire structure (as I had to do once)? Is the entire calendar flawed because I have two “14” drawers but no “15.” (Answer: no.) These were all the unique details of my Advent calendar experience.

And doesn’t this all relate to how a faith journey is at any time of the year? You can’t open all the doors at once and have a neat tabulation of everything and you never know what new surprise will show up. Once you’ve savored the contents of the day, there is always another door waiting to be opened.

Such is the beauty of a faith based on Hope, lived in Hope.

God of wonder and creation, help me to begin each day with Hope. Give me the patience to observe and enjoy the many surprises hidden around me. Amen.

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