I wasn’t really sure what to expect in worship today. It was the first Sunday in Advent, the beginning of a church season I dearly love, from the Advent wreath and candles to the blue of the paraments. But it was also the Sunday after Thanksgiving, so I thought a lot of families might still be out of town or traveling back in time for work and school tomorrow. Even our organist was out of town, having sequenced all her music on the organ for our traditional service.
Though quiet, it turned out to be a moving morning for me. I focused on the Righteous branch of Jeremiah 33, who we know as Jesus. Our hope is found in the promise of his coming, just as it was for Jeremiah’s audience for whom invasion, destruction and exile were inevitable. Don’t let anyone fool you with the nice words, “Everything will be OK.” Both Jeremiah and Jesus tell us it won’t. Things are bad and getting worse, but we have a Savior who is coming. And that is why we have hope.
Rather than getting swept away in the hurried culture of Christmas preparation, the quiet assurance of Advent has already made an impression on me. I “get it” in a way that I don’t think I did before. I’m getting off the ride and spending some time focusing on the Son of God who came and is coming. Who was here and will be back. Who somehow gives me hope.