A season of tension: why Advent is for you

by Lori Oberholtzer, Field Communications Manager

Advent is for people like me—those who have lost, mourned, and grieved.

For the last several years, I’ve looked forward to Advent, but this year I crave it. In a new way, I’m more deeply longing to feel the resurrection power that Advent points us toward. Advent acknowledges the oh-so-real tension that we’re living in a fallen world, yet God sent His Son to redeem this world and will one day make everything right again.

Not just some aspects of the world, but everything.

This year’s events, close to me and around the world, weigh heavy on my heart. It seems you can’t look at the news without seeing savage death, angry racism, devastating natural disasters, or mounting political tensions. We read in Romans 8:22 that even creation groans in eager anticipation of redemption just as we do!

Still, even in the tensions of this life, we see glimpses of the complete restoration that will one day take place. We see miracles and answers to prayer that remind us of our bright Hope. When Jesus was affirming Himself to John the Baptist, He highlighted the healing and restoration that was taking place around Him, foreshadowing his long-term plan for creation:

The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor! (Matthew 11:5).

One day, creation itself will be “liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:21). How incredible that complete restoration could be everyone’s story when Jesus returns!

Yet, talk of complete restoration brings a pained smile to my face. It’s pained because our restoration is not yet, but I smile because I know it’s coming!

This is what Advent is about: patiently celebrating the “soon, but not yet.”  It’s claiming “I see you, Death, but I raise you one Jesus, Son of God,” and it’s confidently knowing “even still, Emmanuel [God with us].”

So let’s remember this season of Advent amidst a world that would have us focus on ourselves, on death and destruction. Let’s collectively fall on our knees and thank God because we know one day He will usher in a season of forever peace. I eagerly anticipate this day.

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Watch this short video to discover how HOPE is walking alongside families in poverty, investing in their dreams, and inspiring them to find their soul’s satisfaction in Christ.

Lori manages HOPE’s field communications program and global branding initiatives. She lives in Lancaster, PA, with her husband, Justin, and 1-year-old daughter, Talia. 

 

 

Feature image: a savings group member in a Roma community in Ukraine

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As Christ’s followers responding to His great love, HOPE International seeks physical, social, spiritual, and personal restoration in places of brokenness. Through Christ-centered microenterprise development, we empower men and women to strengthen their families, build their businesses, and unleash their dreams.

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