This was the most helpful description of Advent I’ve ever found.  The last few seconds are an ad for an online Advent calendar Busted Halo.

I was skeptical of Busted Halo’s Calendar at first.  Each day there is a video clip or a quote from a popular actor, author, or comedian (Lord of the Rings, Lucy Liu, Demetri Martin, Ann Lamott so far).  But I’ve used it each day of Advent thus far, and it’s oddly helped my devotional life, which I expected from the Lord of the Rings and Anne Lamott, but not really from Lucy Liu (don’t get me wrong I’ve seen Charlie’s Angels about 97 times) or Demetri Martin (again there are few things that have made me laugh as hard as “Important Things With Demetri Martin.”

The theme for this first week of Advent is HOPE.

Richard and I have been (very slowly) reading through the Psalms in our morning devotions for the past few months.  What I’ve been struck with, looking at one psalm after another is that word “hope.”  In poem after poem, or song after song, the psalmists describe the injustice, the oppression, the hurt, the problems and the pain that surrounds them.  But in psalm after psalm the author remembers God’s promises, remembers kindness, remembers God’s holiness.  These poems are raw, angry and pained.  But hope breaks through.

One of the Advent devotions that I looked at to write a lesson for my confirmation class compared advent to an invasion.  Advent is waiting for God to invade the earth.  We are waiting to see God invade our lives, our families, our schools, our cities, our countries, the world.  We’re longing for justice, for love, for restoration.

This entire generation is longing for hope.  We elected Obama because he offered a “hope you can believe in.”  The Occupy movement is hoping that some sort of change will break through in the global economy.  The Arab spring is all about hoping for a change in each country.  TV shows like “The Biggest Loser” and “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” are popular because we all hope that our life will be better next week than it is today.

So I’m praying for a God invasion, a hope invasion, and despite the darkness that surrounds us I am placing my hope in a better day to come.

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