Okay so this blog post will go some way to make up for the previous one!
This year for Advent in church I constructed an advent calendar with just four windows: one for each Sunday of Advent.
The front of the calendar was plain black – deliberately so. I wanted it to look as unadorned and unpromising as possible.
Then behind each window in the blackness, I placed a different brightly coloured letter.
So on week one we revealed
That may have been the Sunday morning when both the sound and vision failed before the service requiring us to completely rewrite the service with five minutes to go! I joked that I hoped the emerging word might be HELP.
On week two our window revealed an ‘O’ .
“Ho, ho ho”? Said someone. Well that would have been seasonal I guess.
On week three we revealed a ‘P’
it was becoming pretty obvious what the word was. Even so, during coffee after the service jokes were still being made about what would be behind window number four:
“ppit” would be fun, suggested one. ‘S’? Suggested another, someone with more beer than carols on their mind.
Not surprisingly on week four we reached:
and the teaching points are:
1. Hope often emerges from the dark – so hang on in there.
2. Hope often only reveals itself slowly – so be patient.
It usually takes a while to see the full story and Christian hope will always retain a future dimension.
“But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” Romans 8:24
but we are promised: ‘hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us’. Romans 5:5