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We're Still Advent People | Hope

  “Why do you have a piece of wood on the shelf,” my oldest asked as we finalized placement of our new Advent candles. “It’s a placeholder,” I replied, already familiar with my vision for what the shelf would become. But as with any project around here, finalization takes some time. For starters, the wood placeholder would need a few coats of white paint before I could add lines of “O Holy Night” to complete the art and, as a result, the fruition of the vision. At first the wood was a visual annoyance standing in the way of the completed project. My head was already moving on to what I wanted it to be, to what it *should* be. But as I sat in the pew of our church on the first Sunday of Advent, the blank woodgrain became a source of inspiration -- a metaphor of hope -- the tension between what was, what is, what is yet to come. Hope is defined as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” In this analogy, I have the hope -- the expectation and desire -- for my

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