Having worked as a home missionary, hospital chaplain, pastoral counselor, and therapist over the past fifteen years, I have had the opportunity to be with many people who view the holiday season as a time of sorrow and depression. In the Christian church we view the season of Advent as a time of anticipation, a time of waiting with great expectancy. Unfortunately, there are many who do not share our joy.
Often, in reflecting on the gospel message, I have asked myself the question, ?What does the gospel (good news) offer to the homeless, the disenfranchised, the poor, the brokenhearted? What does Jesus offer those who cannot celebrate the joy of Christmas?? The answer is HOPE.
Preparing for the season of Advent, it is good for those of us who feel joy, as well as those who feel sorrow to remember Paul's words to the church in Rome: ?...tribulation leads to the development of patience, patience leads to experience, and experience leads to hope which strengthens us and does not leave us disappointed because of God's love in us.?
Expectantly we wait with joyful anticipation for the salvation of the Lord. Great is His faithfulness!