okay all my griping about “santa’s little helper/the elf on the shelf” was a bit of a downer...
but here is a word of HOPE for today. and the next day. and the one after that... (even if you are on the 16th day of trying to find a place for your elf because you really do need hope. and a strong drink.)
it is about where our help and hope is truly found...
"Every year in the Advent season we read the prophet Isaiah:
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness - on them light has shined."
This is what Christmas is all about -
something radically new that cannot be generated
out of the conditions of this world.
It does not emerge.
We do not extrapolate it.
God promises it.
If darkness has descended upon you and your world,
you need not try to persuade yourself
that things are not as bad as they seem
or to search desperately for reasons to be optimistic.
Remind yourself instead of a very simple fact:
the light of the One
who was in the beginning with God
shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it."
~ Miroslav Volf
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
2 Chronicles 14:11
Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, “LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. LORD, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.”
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.
and from dietrich bonhoeffer...
Through all the Advents of our life that we celebrate
goes the longing for the final Advent,
where it says: "Behold, I make all things new" (Rev. 21:5).
Advent is a time of waiting.
Our whole life, however, is Advent -
that is, a time of waiting for the ultimate,
for the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth,
when all people are brothers and sisters
and one rejoices in the words of the angels:
"On earth peace to those on whom God's favor rests."
Learn to wait, because He has promised to come.
"I stand at the door?"
We however call to him: "Yes, come soon, Lord Jesus!" Amen.