Advent blessings to you.
I pray that on this Friday you are being held up by hope, the confident trust, that God is with you and that God’s love and change is coming. I pray that that each of us who have been filled with God’s hope can share that hope with those around us. Today and this weekend may we speak hope into the places that seem hopeless and forgotten.
Today’s devotional is written by Dr. Kay Higgins. Kay received her B.A. from Mercer University, an M.A. from TCU, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from UNT. Having previously worked in Housing and Residential Services and as the first Director of the Women’s Resource Center, Kay currently serves as Associate Dean of Student Development and Director of Parent and Family Programs. Kay bleeds purple. She loves TCU and has poured much of her life into sharing hope and love with this university. In her almost 35 years at TCU, she has reveled in the opportunity to share in the lives of TCU students and their families. When not working, Kay is active in her church and in social justice issues within the Fort Worth community. Today she reminds us that hope is more than wishful thinking and she calls us to be active agents of hope through the way we live. May you hear God whispering hope into your life through her words.
Peace to you,
Rev. Allison Lanza
TCU Associate Chaplain
P.S. I have great hope for a big win tomorrow! Go Frogs!
An Advent Devotional, by Dr. Kay Higgins
My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. Psalm 62:5
I have often wished that there were different words for the word, “hope.” There are 4 Greek words for “love” and they mean different things. There is only one Greek word for “hope,” elpis. Since there is only one word in English or Greek, I think about the word “hope” as hope or Hope.
“I hope that I get an A on that paper!” “I hope you are coming to my party!” “I hope that I get that sweater for my birthday!” The little “h” is wishful thinking.
“I Hope that I will be able pay for my child’s medicine.” “I Hope that there is still room in the shelter tonight. It’s 12 degrees out here.” “I Hope that my mother’s cancer will not come back.” Biblically, the capital “H” is confident expectation. In our daily living, “Hope” is also a “yearning prayer” of expectation.
I am a member of University Christian Church in Fort Worth. Our congregation participates in a program called Room in the Inn. It was started in Nashville, TN and it continues to move across the country. There are now 23 congregations in Fort Worth who, once a week, house people who are homeless in the two warmest and three coldest months of the year. They are our guests. We share a meal, engage in conversation, play games, help our guests write resumes and encourage. The men shower, sleep comfortably and safely for the first time in weeks or months. In the morning, they rise, have a big breakfast, take a prepared lunch, and return to the Day Resource Center of Tarrant County by 7:00 AM.
I frequently drive our guests from the Day Resource Center to our church. I am always impressed with the positive conversation in the car. Yesterday, as they were getting into the car for the short trip to the church, Milton, sitting in the front seat asked, “How was your Thanksgiving?” I was somewhat embarrassed to answer. “It was good, how was yours?” I asked. The conversation among the men moved from family to places they had lived to anticipated work in the future. We arrived at the church, they thanked me for the ride, and we said our good-byes.
Room in the Inn has always reminded me of the Christmas story, the “confident expectation” of the impending birth, a warm place to sleep, and the assurance that there is a loving God who cares about each of us. This year, we will be hosting our guests of December 24th. It will be an awesome night – much like the night that Mary waited in “confident expectation” that her son would be born. She did not know what the future would hold, but she knew that God was a God of love and God would not disappoint.
As we embrace the meaning of HOPE for our lives, may we be reminded of Mary’s confident expectation as she awaited what was to come. In so doing, may we be reminded that we are the hands and feet of God on this earth.
Dear God, as each of us snuggles warmly into our beds this night, may we be reminded that only because you have loved us are we able to love, that only because you have taught us to be your hands and feet in the world are we able to carry out your will in our world. Amen.
First Friday of Advent: Devotional by Dr. Kay Higgins
Advent blessings to you.