St. Stephen's Episcopal Church Oak Harbor

By God's Grace, All Are Welcome

Advent 2020--Where We're Finding Hope

For Advent this year, folks from St. Stephen's are sharing moments from their days where they are finding bits of Advent.  Each week of Advent has a theme.  This week's theme was hope.  

Anni C. shared some words from a favorite writer:

Here’s my meaning offering on hope:

Advent: Waiting in Hope by Henri Nouwen

“...But there is more.  Waiting is open-ended.  Open-ended waiting is hard for us because we tend to wait for something very concrete, for something we wish to have.  Much of our waiting is filled with wishes: “I wish the weather would be better.”  “I wish the pain would go.”  We are full of wishes, and our waiting easily gets entangled in those wishes.  For this reason, a lot of our waiting is not open-ended.  Instead, our waiting is a way of controlling the future.  We want the future to go in a very specific direction, and if this does not happen, we are disappointed and can even slip into despair.  That is why we have such a hard time waiting; we want to do the things that will make the desired events take place. Here we can see how wishes tend to be connected with fears.

But Zechariah, Elizabeth and Mary were not filled with wishes.  They were filled with Hope.  Hope is something very different.  Hope is trusting something will be fulfilled but fulfilled according to the promises and not just according to our wishes.  Therefore, hope is always open-ended.  I have found it very important in my own life to let go of my wishes and start hoping.  It was only when I was willing to let go of wishes something really new, something beyond my own expectations, could happen to me.


Weavings, January 1987


Virginia W. found hope with her family and with old traditions made new:  

Even in our separation we managed to have our table talk on Thanksgiving.  We couldn’t touch them but we saw them being themselves across the air into our home.  We give thanks to God for their safety at this time and have the hope that this too will soon pass!



Amy G. send this bit of hopeful color:  



Val R. found these bits of hope:
"I remembered this week how much I love December skies here on the island.  I love the colors.  I love the light, particularly at sunrise and sunset.  At a time when the length of our days means we're dealing with more darkness, I still find such brilliant light."



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