Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.
Psalm 42:11

On this first Sunday of Advent, we considered the theme of hope. Before lighting the first Advent candle, the James family shared a reflection on hope, beginning with the following poem by Christopher:


Let’s take a step back in time, for a second.
No one could stand up against it; no politician giving black people a check-in.
Foreigners transported by ship into alien lands,
shackled and shamed; as worthless as the auction blocks on which they’d stand.

When George Floyd was choked,
the entire system was provoked.
Huge protests and plenty of tear gas.
Time is ticking; sand is falling from the hourglass.

How come police officers’ bullets never miss?
Why do black people deserve this?
Now is the time for change.
Let’s force this “system” into a rearrange.

Renee reminded us that when we celebrate Jesus' first coming, we celebrate the fact that God rearranged the system. He gave us hope in Jesus. And His rearranging isn't done yet.


Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Revelation 21:1-5