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Each week of advent, Doug Smith (former lead pastor), will be sharing a reflection with our church community. This week's reflection is on hope.

Hope in one degree or another is common to all of us. We hope in all sizes; small to large. We hope for a good day, a good meal, a better price or a good night’s sleep. We hope for a healthy family, a meaningful future, a better job or a great relationship. And sometimes when it seems to be slipping away, we hope for life itself.

Hope brings light while its absence plays with darkness that confuses, controls and creates fear. Living without hope’s light is like walking through a darkened room where small obstacles seem insurmountable, the way out is hidden and even brave hearts can begin to doubt.

We were never meant to live without hope and yet from time to time, a lot of us have. The truth is, hopelessness has been found in many darkened rooms over the ages. Whether fleeting or fixed it has sought to confuse, control and promote the insurmountable. 

A terminal cancer diagnosis makes a room grow from dim to dark in short order. I have been there. Let’s face it, being told you have a shorter shelf-life does have a bit of an insurmountable ring to it. Barring a miracle, how do you get past stage 4 when the disease continues to leap frog from organ to organ? Where is the hope in that? Where is your hope? 

It is found by letting The Light into the room. It is a light that literally changes daily and even hourly perspectives; it shines and leads us past the unimportant to the most important. Relationships, forgiveness, life-giving conversations, generosity, and a legacy of love and faith to name only a few. 

Hope is the theme of this first Sunday of Advent. It is a perfect start because it reminds us that from the very beginning God has been in the business of bringing light into our darkened rooms. He showed Himself in the light of a burning bush and a pillar of flame and as He revealed through the prophet Isaiah, through His Son. 

Light a candle and let the light into the room as you read these words.

Isaiah 9:2

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. 

Isaiah 9:6-7

For to us a child is born,  to us a son is given,  and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called  Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace, there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness  from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”