Read Luke 2:18-19.
“Mary pondered this in her heart.”
Some nights, I stay up late. Really late. I don’t really plan it, I just can’t sleep. And it’s because I’m pondering things in my heart. Last night, it was Mary. No, really, it was the state of the world in Mary’s time.
How did this young woman feel when the messenger told her she would have a child? How did she feel when her cousin’s unborn child jumped in recognition of her own child? How did she feel giving birth in a barn? But even more than that, how did she feel knowing that her people were subjugated to Rome? How did she feel knowing that her son was being born into a dangerous time when soldiers were killing baby boys? How did she feel knowing that she was bringing life into the world at a time like this?
Because during Mary’s time, hopelessness would have made a lot of sense. And yet, bringing a child into the world is a hopeful act.
What about you? What is the interplay of hope and hopelessness in your life right now? Is there a time and place for acts of hope even in the hopelessness?
TODAY’S ADVENT ACTION: Acts of numbing out can often be mistaken for acts of hope. Consider for a moment what the things you do for comfort and to disengage, and then see if you’ve confused them with acts of hope. A glass of wine, for instance, is often touted as an act of hope—hoping to enjoy yourself, hoping to have fun—but is, instead, an act of anesthetizing. Shopping, too. What is a way that you can create an act of hope?