Sunday, December 2, 2012

Advent: Hopin' and Prayin'

For those who don't know, today marks the first day of Advent season in the Christian tradition.  Advent is the period leading up to Christmas, when we await the birth (or "advent") of Christ.  My family and the churches we've attended mark this time by lighting candles mounted on a wreath, with a new candle each Sunday accompanied by a reading and a reflection.

I'm not home for Advent this year and I don't have a wreath, but I thought it would be nice to use my blog this month as a place for happiness leading up to my favorite holiday evar.  Get some holiday cheer up in here.

So without further ado, let's get this Advent thing going!


The first Sunday of Advent, we light the candle of Hope.  Hope for Christ's birth and all that will follow, hope for a better world as a result of his being here and teaching people how to truly love one another, hope for our own futures as we work to bring Heaven to Earth.

In today's culture, it seems to me like many people look down on optimism.  It's seen as childish, naive, foolish.  "When you're an optimist, you're always being disappointed," they say, and argue that it's better, more realistic, more mature, to be a pessimist and always assume things will get worse.

Hope, however, can save lives.  Say what you will about the limitations of the It Gets Better Project, as I know there are many, but it has given hope to many queer youth suffering because of the hatred of others.  Even when your classmates call you "fag" and your teachers refuse to (or are unable to) do anything about it, this period in your life will end and you won't need to see any of those people ever again.  It Gets Better has saved lives with the hope it offers young people who feel there is none.

Hope is what keeps us going even when we don't know how things could possibly get any better.  Hope is what makes each day that much more bearable.

What are you hopeful for?

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