Hope is a candle, once lit by the prophets,
never consumed, though it burns through the years;
dim in the daylight of power and privilege
– when they are gone, hope will shine on. (Richard Leach)
We only have to look out of our windows to see that autumn’s bounty of colour is slowly slipping away. As the colder temperatures of winter approach, and the light and warmth of the sun fade, we are reminded that the season of Advent, is a season of hope and promise.
It is a paradox that hope and promise can be born out of the coldest and darkest days of the year. We are promised the Spring to come, and hope of warmer days. As we start this Advent season, we are promised in the birth of Jesus, a light in the darkness and the hope that he will bring for all.
The Advent season is a beautiful reminder to prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of Jesus. At the start of this week, we light the first Advent candle: the candle of Hope.
In a year where many have lived with anxiety and fear, struggling and afraid for the future, it is not always easy to hope when times are so uncertain. But let us look to Mary, who awaited the birth of her child into an uncertain world; she knew how to live with hope, to believe the promises of God.
Our Advent candle, flickering against the darkness of the world that surrounds us, this fragile flame, reminds us that our journey along the road to the crib has begun. Burning against the winds of the age, this candle tells us that because God has come amongst us, hope remains.
Jules Soanes (Ordinand)
2 December 2018