First Sunday of Advent.
The first candle symbolizes hope.
Hope Breeds Hope is my classroom theme this year; a maxim that adorns our eastern wall, above the boards, staring at the children each and every day. We’ve woven its meaning into every aspect of our time together, desiring hope to be in the forefront of what they do. As I teach my students about how hope can – and needs – to inform them, the choices they make and the ways of their being, we challenge this hope to be contagious…breeding willful hope in others.
Some say it’s fleeting (or reaching), the quiet moments of accessing such a higher order understanding amongst eleven and twelve year olds. But as we teach these children about hope, their awareness of all they’ve been entrusted with is transcending the words on the wall. Slowly, and ever so simply, I am seeing the impressions of their hope in others. People enter our classroom and sense the quiet community that is growing within a common faith. Though their faith might look different from the person sitting beside them, I am certain that there is a new, existing belief… even if somedays, it’s only a belief in themselves.
Hope breeds hope. Three words that mean everything today; a day that begins the journey we embark on each winter seasons. To use my own words from a few years ago, I don’t know where you’re at, who you’re with, what you’re struggling with, but I encourage you during this advent season. Hope is the greatest thing we can put into this life, and you can always have hope when it feels like you have nothing left. If you’re struggling to find the hope of this season, through the lights and candles and chaos and busyness and the oh-so-apparent, but sometimes too subtle, reminders of the simple beauty of what we’re doing here…why we’re here, let me hope a little for you. Sometimes we need encouragement as we wait in joy for the things that are promised to us.
I see that hope breeds hope, every day. If not only by the explicit words that are guiding me, and our class, but in the gentle ways that we do and need to risk hoping a little more for each other.
Have a blessed 1st Sunday of Advent.
grace and peace,