Pause

Bright star leads through the night.

Fragile, flickering candle persists against the darkness.

First sunbeam, rising over the the mountaintop, shines with warmth and light.

Hope leads. Hope persists. Hope shines.

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Listen

This is what Isaiah, Amoz’s son, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. In the days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of the mountains. It will be lifted above the hills; peoples will stream to it.

Many nations will go and say, “Come, let’s go up to the Lord’s mountain, to the house of Jacob’s God so that he may teach us his ways and we may walk in God’s paths.” Instruction will come from Zion; the Lord’s word from Jerusalem.

Isaiah 2:1-3

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Think

Hope is what we are asked to do. Over and over in Scripture, God has always asked us to have hope. It can be hard to feel hopeful. But hope is something that you can work at — by looking up (above your own sight line) and reaching out (to others, because, let’s face it, we can’t do it all on our own).

The writer in this scripture passage had some ideas about what the people needed in order to find hope. With images of high mountains and action phrases (Let us go!), the writer seeks to inspire people who were far from feeling hopeful. These were people who were immersed in war, overwhelmed by battling religious groups and century-old arguments about sacred land and cultural practices.

The writer dares to imagine a big ol’ group of different “nations” (meaning lots of different religious and cultural groups) moving toward God. Together. It took hope then to share the idea, to try and inspire others to feel the same hope. Today, you are the person asked to share your idea of hope.

Gina Yeager-Buckley

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Pray

O, God, give me the words, give me the vision, give me hope. Fill my heart with your heart. Put your words in my mouth. Share your hope with me, that I might look up, that I might reach out. Amen.

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Go

Go now.

Walk in hope.

Let Light guide your way.

Have no fear.

Gina Yeager-Buckley

Gina Yeager-Buckley serves as the national Associate for Ministries with Youth for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Advent Waiting: Let All M ortal Flesh Keep Silence - Wondrous Love

David Burroughs

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