Sunday 29th November
The Extraordinary Gift of Hope: Advent Reflections
Written jointly by MWiB and All We Can, these reflections were originally printed in the Methodist Recorder, 27th November 2020. Our hope is that as you read, reflect and pray, you will get a glimpse into the life-transforming work of All We Can, an international development charity working to transform the lives of people living in marginalised communities around the world, and Methodist Women in Britain, a charity within the Methodist Church focusing on tackling issues of social justice and empowering women in churches and communities around the world. To find out more, visit:
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Hope is a constant need for the human condition. Without it there is no progress, no moving on. Through Advent there is hope in each day, combined with an expectation of something worthwhile. As we enter Advent with expectation and preparation, our prayer is that you will be filled afresh with the hope we find in Jesus.
(N.B. This reflection involves the lighting of a candle.)
Advent 1 – The Sweetness of Hope
God’s promises are made to last. They show God’s care for humankind, God’s desire that all will be well, even – perhaps especially – when we have become resigned to the way things are, when we no longer seek or expect things to change, when change seems impossible in human terms.
Read: Genesis 17: 4–6
God enters into a covenant with Abraham which is transformational. He is given a new name and a promise of something beyond what he can probably imagine. The boldness of this promise, that from a couple who are unable to have a child many nations will come, sows a seed of hope which only God can bring into reality.
God’s covenant is a long-term commitment.
The Psalmist writes: ‘How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!’ (Psalm 199: 103)
Where do you need to see hope right now? Which of God’s promises do you need reminding of in this Advent season? The sweetness of hope is written in God’s words.
In Ethiopia, All We Can is supporting families to set up their own honey business. Hope is truly very sweet. This support provides the family with the materials they need to build a beehive as well as training in bee-keeping.
Equally, MWiB is currently supporting the Comedor Juan 6:35* in Tijuana, Mexico – a café where migrants trapped at the Mexico-US border can find not only hot food and drinks, but education classes and a safe, social meeting space. *John 6: 35: ‘Jesus said, “I am the bread that gives life…”’
Hope has a long-term impact.
The hope of Abraham and the hope of families in Ethiopia and migrants in Mexico is resilient. In the face of obstacles, there is a sweetness to God’s promises. God will not leave us.
As you light your candle today, ponder how Abraham was transformed by God’s covenant.
Light your candle
Pray: May this candle be a reminder of the sweetness of hope. How sweet Lord are your words. Fill me afresh with the enduring hope I find in you. Amen.
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You can download the full series of Advent reflections here