Sunday 6th December
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 2 – Hope Grows
Signs of hope can come from unexpected sources. This year has challenged many across the world, but so often small signs – a little practical support, an encouraging word – can provide renewed optimism and energy. Be prepared to be surprised in hope.
Read: Isaiah 9: 6 and 11: 1–3
The prophet Isaiah foretold of the Messiah. The one coming whose royal lineage will be listed. A shoot will grow.
Have you seen many people taking up new hobbies during this time of staying at home? Baking and gardening seem to have become firm favourites. If you have ever grown something from a seed then you will recall the elation of seeing the first signs of sprouting as a shoot appears from the soil. It is so full of hope and potential.
There is a fragility in this depiction of hope in the Messiah; coming in the form of a child and as a shoot. The hope may come in a fragile form but it will grow and deepen. Its roots spread and from a branch there will be fruit.
‘A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will bear fruit.’ Isaiah 11: 1
Where would you like your roots to be deepened? Are their signs of emerging hope in your life? Where do you need God’s nurturing most today?
All We Can is working in India where, due to changing weather patterns, producing food and crops in ways that are resistant to the effects of climate change is critical for families’ food security and income. The fragile hope in shoots which will bear fruit is a very real experience.
In Zimbabwe, a group of widowed women are learning to make and sell bricks, with funding from MWiB enabling them to buy essential equipment including moulds, cement, and wheelbarrows. The money they earn will provide food and clothing for their children, and enable them to attend school.
Hope is growing in India and Zimbabwe in very practical ways.
Light your candle
Pray: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, may this candle be a reminder that you came to us as a child as Isaiah prophesied you would. Help me to see the signs of hope growing around me. Amen.
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You can download the full series of Advent reflections here