Dear C & G,
Today is the first Sunday of Advent. My heart is full of all of the things I want to tell you about this time of year. Your father and I have been a part of many different styles and denominations in our lifetimes, and one of the things I miss most about some of the churches I have attended is their recognition of Advent. There were no candles this morning at our church. No poetic reading on an Advent word. This is not wrong, it is only different. However, I want more for you. Or maybe it is that I want more for me, too.
Tonight we will light a candle in a make-shift way of doing Advent at home. We will read from a new book given just for this season, and I hope that we will sing and pray. I hope that our hearts will make room for faith this season.
Advent means "the arrival of a notable person, thing or event." It is also defined as "the coming of Christ at Incarnation" or even "the second coming of Christ." We wait with anticipation of Christmas Day as a reminder of the waiting that happened thousands of years ago and of the waiting we have as we wait for heaven.
Today is the Sunday for the word "hope." To be filled with hope is to be waiting for something that hasn't happened yet. Bubby, you "hope" to get some new Legos this Christmas, Bugaboo you "hope" to watch a movie in your free time. You are waiting, believing and anticipating something good will be given or will happen.
As a family we pray with hope for answers to our requests. We hope for healing. We hope for provision. We hope to be blessed in beautiful and tangible ways. Some of these things may come to be. Some may never be accomplished in this lifetime. When you don't get what you are praying for boys, and this will happen many times over the years, I pray you do not lose your hope. I pray that the spark of faith we already see in your young lives will carry you through all of your days.
I pray that when you feel like giving up, that you will persevere, that you will ask for help, that you will acknowledge your needs, and that you will be held by the Savior. I pray that you will always have boldness and confidence in praying with hope and faith, but that you will also in humility understand that everything we have been given is a gift. I pray that you see hope on display in our home, even in the hard times, especially in the hard times. I pray that when the world seems unfair, you will remember Jesus, Who came and endured the ultimate unfairness in order to bring us eternal hope. Remember that beautiful hope, boys.