Pause

The power of hope is made more palpable by the fragile circumstances of everyday life. A cancer diagnosis. The loss of job and home. A fight with friends or family. The rejection from a college. A divorce. The death of a loved one.

But, often hope comes in small doses and flickering images. Signs that are fleeting and brief, and usually seem insignificant. Advent is a season in which we can cultivate this posture of waiting and watching with hope. It is hope that anchors us – it nourishes us, it sustains us, it keeps our eyes up.

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Listen

“There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. On the earth, there will be dismay among nations in their confusion over the roaring of the sea and surging waves. The planets and other heavenly bodies will be shaken, causing people to faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world. Then they will see the Human One coming on a cloud with power and great splendor. Now when these things begin to happen, stand up straight and raise your heads, because your redemption is near.”

Luke 21:25-28

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Think

These days my children are into heroes. They are 4 and 2, and they could not be more obsessed with the Avengers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and anyone that is considered a “good guy” with unusual, supernatural abilities.

Since I’m constantly bombarded by these images all day long with the children, I admit I’m fascinated and equally taken with them. I often wonder what it is that is appealing about overtly muscular men and women in impossibly skin-tight clothing and some manner of cape. Is it their power?

The appeal of power must be a human thing. Jesus speaks in Luke about a moment in time where reality will shift in significant ways – Jesus coming in power and glory, high on a cloud. The signs which accompany Jesus’ coming this time are not small – they are much more dramatic. And ultimately they are signs not of doom but of rescue and restoration. So we are called to raise our heads, and be on the lookout for the one who will come for the sake of our lives.

Mihee Kim-Kort

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Pray

God, sometimes those signs of your presence are small, and sometimes they overwhelm and devastate our lives. Help me to listen and look, to trust that you are here in the midst of them. Amen.

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Go

In The Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan says:

“First, remember, remember, remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. And secondly, I give you a warning... Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters.”

C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair, 1953

Mihee Kim-Kort

Mihee Kim-Kort is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She is spouse to a Presbyterian minister, mother to three amazing children, director of a UKIRK campus ministry at Indiana University. She is also a freelance writer and author of numerous blogs, articles, and books. Her website is www.miheekimkort.com.

Advent Waiting: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence/Wondrous Love

David Burroughs

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