Our mission is to plant ourselves at the gates of HOPE –
not the prudent gates of Optimism, which are somewhat narrower,
not the stalwart boring gates of Common Sense,
nor the strident gates of self-righteousness, which creak on shrill and angry hinge,
(people cannot hear us there; they cannot pass through);
nor the flimsy cheerful gate of “Everything is gonna be alright!”
but a very different
sometimes very lonely place,
the place of truth-telling,
about your own soul first of all and its condition,
the place of resistance and defiance,
the piece of ground from which you see the world both as it is and as it could be, and
as it will be;
the place from where you glimpse not only struggle, but joy in the struggle –
and we stand there,
beckoning and calling,
telling people what we are seeing,
asking people what they see.
- Victoria Stafford in The Impossible Will Take a Little While: a citizen’s guide to hope in a time of fear

For the first week of Advent the focus is on HOPE.  Henri Nouwen writes about hope as waiting open-endedly, trusting that God is at work, hoping for what will come without knowing what that will be.

“To wait open-endedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life. It is trusting that something will happen to us that is far beyond our own imaginings. It is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life. It is living with the conviction that God moulds us according to God’s love and not according to our fear.”
 – Henri Nouwen, the Path of Waiting
If you are using the At-Home Advent Retreat material I welcome you to leave your response here. We will all benefit from the wider conversation.
Many blessings on your Advent waiting…

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