“Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
Hope is defined as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen” (Oxford Languages). Research shows that having hope can contribute to positive well-being and help us better manage adversity, stress, and anxiety. One way we can prime ourselves to hope, to move closer to optimism and action, is to seek inspiration and awe.
Christmas is a time that can inspire hope. The Advent season represents the arrival of something new and profound. The symbols and stories about the birth of Jesus encourage our faith and teach us to anticipate the good things that we can’t see. Envisioning a better future can motivate us to take the steps to make it happen. May we always be filled with the hope of Christmas.
Today’s Wellness Wednesday explores hope and what it means to each of us.
As a class, group, or family: · Watch this encouraging video about HOPE: https://youtu.be/dlcU5uHMdTM (3:14)
· After, invite everyone to consider the question: “What is your hope?”. Talk with a partner then ask people to share their thoughts with the group.
· Give everyone a piece of paper or blank postcard and something to write/draw with. Ask people to complete the sentence: “My hope is…” and draw or record their hope on the paper.
· As a group, invite people to share their drawings. Consider choosing a spot to display the messages of hope.
· End with a prayer, asking God to keep us alert to the blessings He brings us each day.
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer:
What does it mean to have hope?
How can hope help us prepare our hearts for the birth of Christ?
How can we demonstrate hope in our lives?
Connecting to our faith:
“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
The 1st Sunday of Advent symbolizes Hope with the "Prophet’s Candle", reminding us that Jesus is coming. As we begin the season of Advent, we are reminded to prepare our lives and hearts so that we are awake and ready for the birth of our Lord. Let us pray: Eternal God, strengthen our hearts to wait patiently for the gift of your presence in our lives. May your Holy Spirit help us wait in joyful hope for the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
· CHILDREN’S BOOK: “Tree of Hope” by Amy LittleSugar
· SHORT STORIES: “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories of Hope” by Jack Canfield
· ARTICLE: “How can families better live the spirit of Advent and Christmas in their homes?” www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/catholic-traditions-for-advent-and-christmas.html
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