GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!
The Hope & Faith found in Spring
The first Sunday of Advent…can you believe it? Already Advent! Amazing how time flies by.
Advent refers to Latin ‘adventus’ meaning ‘arrival’ or ‘coming’. Traditionally, this means the ‘second coming of Christ’, the physical ‘nativity’, and the reception of Christ in the heart of the believer.
Of course, the New Thought understanding is what Unity professes, which is with the celebration of the birth of the baby Jesus is our birth or rebirth, if you will, of our Christ understanding within our being. It is a reminder that we believe in the Christ of our Being and are reminded of that connection we all have within us and all around us. We are One with Spirit and One with ALL.
As we prepare for this birthday celebration, we might (avoiding oughts & shoulds here) want to consider additional time in prayer and meditation. This is a joyful season of preparation for the coming of the Christ essence. We would benefit from this extra time of anticipation with quiet time for ourselves. And it would help us keep Christ in Christmas.
Today, we will ‘light’ our first Advent candle, a purple one which represents repentance and royalty.
Rev. Richard Mekdeci wrote in the Unity Christmas Booklet, “A Christmas to remember”, “In Unity, we often celebrate both hope and faith in the first week of Advent. Is there a difference?”
Unity cofounder, Charles Fillmore wrote in “The Revealing Word”, ‘Hope is a quality…of sense mind because it is subject to time. Faith is the certain knowledge that our good is ours right now, it is of God; it goes beyond time and space.”
Jesus never told us to hope. He said in John 7:38, “Have faith in me.” He said to pray believing we will receive. Yet, Jesus was a great symbol of hope.
During this first week of Advent, we can think of hope as a gift that has been given to us through the birth of the Christ in us and the life of the man Jesus. When hope is inspired within us, we can nurture that hope through possibility, to expectation, and then to faith.
Each week we will light the corresponding candle for Peace, Love & Joy.
This year, I was looking for a different way to present the Advent Lessons. During some ZOOM workshops I was involved with, I got the idea to link the seasons to each week. I believe you know that each Advent week is associated with a theme. This week, I believe the theme of Hope & Faith goes well with the season of Spring. My title is The Hope & Faith found in spring.
Imagine looking out your windows and seeing how much the snow has melted. The sun is out and it’s getting warmer each day. As you walk your neighborhood or maybe one of the trails around here, you notice crocus and snowbells blooming and maybe even daffodils breaking through the ground.
Some trees are starting to bud, and it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful spring.
This is hope. This is life waking up from winters nap.
This is divine order.
We don’t have to make winter to end and push spring into being. It’s not our business. Its Gods business.
We can hope all we want to make spring come early, but our only resource is having faith that winter will ends its cold hold on us and spring will arrive when it’s time. No matter what Punxsutawney Phil says.
Everything comes alive in spring. It’s a time when we think of fresh starts, of rebirth. And rebirth fits during Advent. We are recalling our rebirth, our reminder that we are of the Christ Child. We are remembering the reason for the season.
So, our hope for the coming spring is like our hope for the coming Holidays – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa; and the faith that when they arrive, we will be filled with anticipation, excited to experience the joy and love shared by family and friends.
Remember what else springs reminds us of…clearing out what no longer serves, spring cleaning. Yes, spring cleaning is everyone favorite spring activity, right???!!!
Maybe not, but very necessary. More important is the cleaning out of negative thoughts, words, and actions. And this is part of our preparation process as we prepare for the coming of the Christ Child and our renewal of our Christ Consciousness.
You may say this is so much to do, how can I complete the tasks, how am I worthy to receive The Christ?
Faith, my friends. Faith makes us worthy. It is our faith that takes over and brings us to the manger, surrounded by shepherds, sheep, donkeys, and wise men. It is our faith that allows us to realize that we are worthy to stand with Mary and Joseph as the Child is worshiped and praised.
We, you and I, are worthy because we have faith to see, even when we can’t see the next step forward.
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
We just close our eyes and silence our minds and go within to that secret place, our Higher Self, our Christ Self. We all have this special, silent place. This place to go to in times of pain, and discord, and peace, and praise.
This is the place my mom went to as she prayed daily to her Jesus; she’d look at the picture on her bureau and hold her Crucifix and pray.
We don’t need a picture or a Crucifix. We just need an open heart and a willing mind.
So, as you prepare for your holiday, take, no MAKE some time for hope, and faith and connect to your Authentic Self. And then listen to that still small voice, the answer to your hope and faith.
“Through spiritual practice, hope evolves into its fuller expression, faith.” Rev. Karen Shephard
“For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20