Blog Space of Rev. Adrian J. Pratt B.D, pastor at Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church, Ellicott City, MD

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I believe in hope

Firstly, let me wish one and all a very blessed Thanksgiving. What a great time to get together with family and friends and reflect on the positives. We started doing that last week with our sermon 'I believe in the Kingdom', which can be found here.

This coming Sunday we transition into the season of Advent. Advent is a season of waiting and watching, something that we are not all so good at doing! In our consumer orientated society we become used to instant gratification of our needs. The TV adverts are flooded with bargains that invite us to 'Buy now, pay later'.  Sadly many become so consumed with consuming that their 'Credit' becomes a major problem. 

Advent is a time of waiting, but it is not waiting as though one were sitting in the dentists office, but waiting with expectant hope... more like that of a child waiting for Santa to appear! During Advent, many churches follow the practice of lighting candles on an Advent Wreath. Though there are different ways of doing it, a traditional pattern has been to firstly light a candle for hope.

Christians see great hope in the birth of Jesus Christ into the midst of a world filled with both darkness and light. They see in His life moments of great transformation that changed peoples worlds. As we read of His life we see forgiveness and healing, empowering and restoring, amazing teaching and powerful insights into the nature of God and the ways of the world.

The 'hope' is that His love may be 'born' in many peoples lives. The message of the Cross and Resurrection, such a central part of the Christian message, take the idea of hope in a new direction. Death is seen as a doorway to new beginnings.  The possibility of redemption, even in the most desperate of situations, is a central feature of the Easter story.

I'm getting way ahead of myself! It's Advent, not Easter. To guide us through the season, rather than weekly meditations, we are making an Advent devotional available online, titled 'Around the Manger', that features readings and reflections for every day from December 1st through to Christmas Day.  Watch this space!

To get us in an Advent mood, this beautiful video from the Piano Guys , courtesy of the Mormon channel. We'd love to see you at Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church, Ellicott City. Services are @ 10:00 Sunday mornings. This week our theme will be 'I believe in Hope'.

God's blessing be with you all during these winter days!

Rev. Adrian J. Pratt B.D.

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