This week we lit the first Advent candle with our kids. Gathered in Moriah’s room, we set the Advent candle wreath on her little table where she plays tea party with Elijah and we brought in the new season together. We ready a Scripture, lit the Hope candle and sang “Go Tell it On the Mountain” (Moriah’s choice). It was a special moment, one that left me reflecting on Hope in a different light.
“We exult in our trials, knowing that trials bring about perseverance, and perseverance proven character, and proven character hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”( Rms 5:5) Now I have read that verse before, but what I have never seen is the Holy Spirit’s involvement in the process. The love of God is evident to us because of the Spirit within us. Therefore, we need not worry when trials come. In fact, when they do come, that can be a trigger for us to realize that the Spirit is alive and well in us ready to carry us through.
This progression from trials to hope is a fascinating mobility. I want to start with hope, I want to light the first candle of advent, proclaim hope and move on to the crescendo in Bethlehem. But the journey must involve trials. Either we embrace the trials, even give thanks for them and allow them to transform us, or we become a victim to our trials and miss out on this amazing gift of hope that we have through the Holy Spirit.