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{advent study week two
expectant hope}

advent wreath - bible study

Habakkuk 3:2-6

LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD.
Repeat them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.

God came from Teman,
the Holy One from Mount Paran.
His glory covered the heavens
and his praise filled the earth.
His splendor was like the sunrise;
rays flashed from his hand,
where his power was hidden.
Plague went before him;
pestilence followed his steps.
He stood, and shook the earth;
he looked, and made the nations tremble.
The ancient mountains crumbled
and the age-old hills collapsed—
but he marches on forever.

As a child, I wasn't aware that my family celebrated Advent. As soon as the Thanksgiving meal was over and leftovers stored, we spent the afternoon putting up the tree in anticipation of Christmas. In church, special readings were shared while the candles were lit on the four Sundays preceding Christmas. It simply felt like a month of celebrating Christmas before it arrived. While I didn't know what to call it, that time and space with its accompanying rituals felt peaceful and beautiful. A season of celebration indeed. For me now, Advent is a season of expectant hope. We wait, hopeful, for what we know God is able to do.

These same sentiments spring forth in the words of the prophet Habakkuk. He cries out to God with expectant hope. Proclaiming God's eternal power that extends beyond the confines of nature, from an exilic place of injustice, Habakkuk longs for God to intervene "in our own time" (verse 2).

We, too, long for God to intervene "in our own time." Perhaps when a situation seems beyond our control or we're unable to respond to situations or suffering. God responded to the cries of Habakkuk and responds to our pleas too. The Incarnation bears witness to this. In God's eternal power and love, God chose to take on human flesh and dwell among us. Jesus Christ is the presence of God in the world! This is something to celebrate as we wait with expectant hope during this season of Advent.


Lord, we celebrate you today as we wait with expectant hope for your coming into the world. Help us to see your peace and your beauty everywhere we go that we might better share the joy of this Advent season with others. In Christ's name we pray, Amen.

Meagan Ludwig - Master of Divinity Student

Reflections on Advent from the
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Community


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