Preparing for Worship

by | Dec 21, 2023 | Preparing For Worship

Each year, 150 to 200 of us bring ornaments to place on our large extended-family Christmas tree. There is one ornament my grandma puts on the tree every year: it’s a little ornament in the shape of underwear. It’s her reminder to us to always have on a fresh pair.

What in the world am I getting at? This year we have been stretched, we have been torn, we have been found with some holes within us. We are waiting for and expecting some freshness or newness in our lives and are holding onto hope that it will come. We’re holding onto hope that something different than what we see daily — something more important, something infinitely greater and more powerful — is taking place.

I love when the angels proclaim, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

For 600 years people were waiting for the messiah, coming year after year to the temple, the place where heaven and earth meet. Year after year, it didn’t seem like it was happening. Year after year. They were stretched and torn, but the promised new life didn’t show up.

But now angels reflect and sing, now prophecies are coming true, now life is born into the world and now hope has come.

Christian hope is found in the coming of God. Being ready for this future that God is bringing requires us to let go of the past as our template for hope, to let go of that which has been torn, holey and stretched — and that is hard! It is human nature to hold on and not let go. We want to be comfortable; we don’t want to be challenged.

As theologian Jürgen Moltmann once stated, “The future is God’s proper mode of being.” In other words, we honor God best when we embrace with faith what God is doing, even if we don’t know precisely what that is at any given moment. Christian hope is rooted in God’s promise that our redemption is drawing near. God is coming, even amid our brokenness. Y’all, that’s hope for a weary world.