You’ve heard of seeing the world through rose-colored glasses, right? Well, Advent reminds me that if I want to see the world clearly, I need to see it through hope-colored glasses.
In a passage that might not sound very Hope-filled or Advent-y, Jesus tells his disciples (including you and me) that a time is coming when everything we know will change (Luke 21:25-36). He describes changes that will impact the sun, the moon, the stars, and will leave everyone on earth “confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves” (Luke 21:25). The idea of that much change and disruption can be scary, but Jesus says, “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life” (Luke 21:34).
So, after telling us everything is going to change, Jesus says to guard our hearts so we aren’t weighed down with the worries of this life. Part of me wants to say, “well, Jesus, I wasn’t worried until you told me EVERYTHING is going to change!”
But the reality is, I do tend to get weighed down with the worries of this life. Whether it’s illness or busyness or worry for a family member or friend, there always seems to be an abundance of worry.
If worry is a disease, hope is the cure.
In World War II, an Austrian psychiatrist named Viktor Frankl was imprisoned in a concentration camp because he was Jewish. Incredibly, he survived. He later wrote that in the hellish, inhumane conditions of his imprisonment, he observed that when people lost hope they died. His experience led him to conclude that hope is almost as necessary for human life as food and water.
My source of hope is God. I experience God as the unchanging one, the Alpha and the Omega.
God sees the chaos of my life, and the world, and says: “Cue Advent!”
Advent is an especially good time to pause and marvel over the idea that God’s deep love for humanity prompted God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves—fully redeem and save us from our own selfishness, pettiness, and greed.
God’s deep love comes to us in the form of a baby, the Christ child. We spend this Advent season preparing for the coming of that love into the world and into our hearts.
We wait with our hope-colored glasses on. We wait with expectation, faith, and confidence in God’s promises. As the Psalmist says, “All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness” (Psalm 25:10).
Through hope-colored glasses, we can see the world differently from how it sees itself.
When I put on my hope-colored glasses, I see the world through the promises God makes in Scripture. Through lenses of hope, I can see that God’s purposes are still unfolding. I can see that God is still at work in me and in the world.
My hope-colored glasses help me see the image of God in each person I meet. It means I can see how dearly—and truly—loved each person is; how worthy they are.
I wish the world could see itself that way. I wish every single person I meet could know that truth and have that hope.
Through these hope-colored glasses, I can see the world clearly.
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