Rt. Rev. Dena A. Harrison. DD

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Psalm 146,147, Amos 1:1-5, 13-2:8, Luke 21:5-19


Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever.    (Psalm 146:5-6)

Advent has always seemed to me to have something of the flavor of homemaking. We are called out of our distraction and encouraged to make a time and a space in which to be available to God. We have the opportunity to dig out our buried hope, dust it off, and give it pride of place.

Hope in God's promises is the one hope which will never disappoint. As we make the time and space available, God comes to us with our heart's desire, all wrapped up in swaddling clothes. Because of hope, we are reoriented to marvel again at the cosmic God, "who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them," and yet who comes into our humble home, blessing us through a newborn child.

Both the hope of new birth and the hope of second chances are gloriously fulfilled through this holy child for whom we prepare. Our work is the sweeping and the dusting and the laying of the welcome mat. It is God who "keeps faith forever" and accomplishes transformation when we make space and open the heart's door.

Jesus comes to those who would receive him. May our hearts be full of hope and trust in God as we prepare to receive the redemption he brings.

Almighty God, your faith-keeping sends Jesus into the world. Help us prepare to welcome him with hope and joy. Amen.

The Rt. Rev. Dena A. Harrison, DD Bishop Suffragan, Diocese of Texas Board Chair, Seminary of the Southwest MDiv 1987, DD 2008