Sign-up for free e-newsletter

Viewpoint from Revd Dr Steven Sivyer 06/12/2019

STEVEN SIVYER 2019Rev Dr Steven Sivyer
Priest-in-Charge of Martham, Repps, Thurne, and Clippesby


as published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury


Hope in Advent

Why am I discouraged?  Why is my heart so sad?  I will put my hope in God!  I will praise him again! (Psalm 42:5)
dove leftThere is so much sadness around, particularly in our country at the moment.  We have become polarised as a nation as we have allowed views over one topic to shape how we see ourselves and other people.  The summer is now a distant memory, being replaced by ever-increasing darkness, and I write this whilst parts of the country are affected by floods
Hope is a strange concept which can lead to its cheap usage.  We might say “I hope that Norwich get into the Premier League” but, whilst we might experience the elation of promotion (and beating Manchester City), sooner or later that hope will be replaced with despair.  Whilst it is right and good to engage fully in the current election, if we place a false hope in a particular political party or politician, that hope can turn to distrust and even hatred.  We seem to love to hype someone up with false expectations, only to drop them at a later date.  That is because we all have deep seated longings for hope, but then put that hope in things or people that can never sustainably satisfy our hunger
Dove rightOne reason we are never satisfied is that we are always chasing the next new thing that gives us an immediate thrill, even if we know that it will be followed by a come down.  All this achieves is a life of bumpy paths as, after each come down, we look for another high and the bumps continue.  For some, Christmas is another one of the bumps in the road with pressure to spend, only for it to be followed by emptiness and even debt
Advent is a period of time, often squeezed by Christmas, which focuses upon hope, where our bumpy paths can be made straight.  Firstly, hope is only possible if we delay the thrills, and that delay actually sustains our positivity as we fix our hope towards a future point.  Secondly, there is nothing or no-one better to place our hope in than something or someone who is eternal and sustains us into eternity.  Rather than rushing ahead into Christmas, take time this advent to build your life upon the only one who can truly be our focus of hope so that, when we do arrive at Christmas, we can sing with meaning “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight” (from ‘O little town of Bethlehem’)


The views carried here are those of the author, not necessarily of Network Yarmouth, and are intended to stimulate constructive and good-natured debate between website users

We welcome your thoughts and comments, posted below, upon the ideas expressed here


Click here to read our forum and comment posting guidelines