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December 2, 2014

In the Christian church, this is the season of Advent, a time of preparation for the coming of Jesus. Even though there seem to be reminders of Christmas all around us, the church stubbornly  holds back and says, “No, first there has to come a time of preparation, a time for expectation, a time for quiet waiting for the coming of the Christ, God’s Messiah.”

In this season before Christmas, we are filled with hope. This isn’t “hope” for the coming of Jesus as the Son of God, because we know that happened some 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem of Judea.

No, our hope today is about looking to his future coming. When Jesus first came to this earth, he made a promise that he would come again. We know we can trust his promises because not even death could prevent him from fulfilling his promises. The crucified and risen One will come to put an end to all injustice, sin, evil and suffering. He will finish the story of salvation that was definitively begun with his first coming as a Babe in Bethlehem.

We spend this season in expectant hope:

  • Looking with hope to the day when Jesus will return to fulfill his promises and fill our lives with unimaginable joy.
  • Looking with hope for a time when there will be no more sorrow or death.
  • Looking with hope to a time when all our sad divisions come to an end.

The Episcopal Churches of Maryland invite you to join us in celebrating the season of Advent. You will find our congregations will welcome you in looking with hope to the coming of the Baby Jesus at Christmas and as King of Kings at the close of the age. Blessings to you in this season of hope.

The Rev. Stuart Wright is the canon for human resources and clergy deployment for the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.

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