In a world wracked by fear and insecurity it may well be time to reimagine the season of Advent.
2000 years ago two women find themselves suddenly pregnant. One older, married and deeply excited about finally having a child, while at the same time concerned about the future of a child born to her at her age. The other is young, unmarried, and aware that her condition may cause her a life time of ridicule and banishment.
In the original story both women are given the same message, "Be not afraid, fear not."
This message of hope is as relevant and powerful today as it was then.
For me it is easy to remain hopeful because I am an unrepentant believer that there is only one God, this God created and loves all of creation. This does not mean that I do not experience moments of doubt, worry or deep concern. And sometimes I even wallow in these feelings. Yet, even in the midst of my own shortcomings the God I believe in is present and when I recognize this I see that I might not understand, I might be uncertain about the specific actions I can take, I might be concerned about the power that is being wielded against myself and others. Yet, there is no person, no power, no principality that can come between me and the good God has for me.
This insight renews my hope. I move forward in faith. I take the action that is in front of me gently, joyously, and enthusiastically. Then I simply repeat the process. My fears dissolve and I see more clearly that my life matters because God's hope can been seen in my thoughts, words and actions.
Hope is the first corner stone for transforming your life and our world.