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Advent Devotional 2013 #1

Greetings!  December is here, which means that once again Advent is upon us!  For those of you who may be new to TCU, each season of Advent The Office of Religious & Spiritual Life sends out Advent Devotionals.  Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until winter break you will receive a devotional that was written by a TCU student, faculty, or staff member.  Today’s devotional was written by my new colleague Allison Lanza!
For those of you who may not yet know Allison, she began working at TCU as our new Associate Chaplain last September.  Originally from Fort Worth, she returned here from Raleigh, NC, where she was serving as the Associate Pastor at Hillyer Memorial Christian Church.  When Allison interviewed to become a part of our team, her passion around service and social justice, along with her deep commitment to the faith development of students, made her the clear choice!  Her arrival brought a new sense of excitement and energy to our office, along with a wonderful spirit of HOPE for things to come!  So as we begin this season of Advent, Allison has words of HOPE to offer you as well!  (You will also get to know Allison better over the next few weeks as she will now be the one to send you future devotionals.)  May God inspire a spirit of HOPE in you through her words today…

An Advent Devotional, by Allison Lanza

Please read Luke 3: 3-6.

 Hope is my favorite word.  I wear it on a charm around my wrist.  For a long time “hope” was my phone password.  Not because my phone needed a password, but because I wanted to remember over and over again to have hope.
Hope is more than a wish.  Hope gets us out of bed each morning.  Hope drives us to keep trying.  Anne Lamott says that “Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. “ Hope is the knowledge deep in our bones, that the light is about to break through the darkness.
Hope is active.  John the Baptist had great hope that God was coming. He didn’t just dream about it.  He actively lived this hope. Through his words and his actions he actively worked to prepare the way for the Lord. 
As advent begins, we spend a lot of time actively preparing for Christmas.  We shop, decorate, cook, and work to finish the semester.  I often wonder if we don’t spend a lot of time actively preparing the way for the Lord to come. 
This Advent, I am trying something different.  I am choosing to be intentional about preparing for God to be born into our world and my life again.  I will spend time in quiet. I will worship.  I will try and share hope with others by giving to those in need, spending time with the lonely, bringing food to the hungry.  I will work for God’s justice. I can’t promise I will do any of it very well. But I want to try to actively live hope.  Will you join me?
The good news is this.  No matter how we do at actively hoping, we can still have hope.  God is with us. The Prince of peace, the one who brings good news to the poor and wipes away every tear, is coming. Jesus, the hope of God with skin on, is about to be born into our world and our lives. What better news is there?
God of all love, our hope is in you. This advent, help us to prepare a space for you to come alive again in our lives and in our word. Amen


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