Waiting and hoping in uncertain times

The Rankin littles have started their countdown to Christmas! Christmas has become one of our topics of discussion on the way to school each day. It is amazing that they are wise enough to measure “how many days until Christmas comes,” by paying attention to the things that are happening around them. They know that fall comes first, and thanksgiving follows. They also know that Christmas comes shortly after mom’s birthday.

I wonder why they ask so often. It is almost as if there is a constant need to reassure themselves that Christmas will really come. I think the Rankin littles may be experiencing the hope of Advent! Their focus may not yet be where it should.

However, they are hopeful! I too am hopeful!

I see light when most see darkness. I search for the good when things may not appear to be so good. Advent and what this season means to me, has even increased my hope for change in our world today.


Psalm 33 ends in like manner:

Our soul waits for the Lord.

    he is our help and our shield.

For our heart is glad in him,

    because we trust in his holy name.

Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,

    even as we hope in you.


Things will be different this Advent. Although this season may not be spent surrounded by family and friends, there is hope that the Lord’s steadfast love is upon us. Perhaps in this season of waiting, we like the Rankin littles, can start a countdown to what God has promised us through the birth of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes we must remind ourselves that Christ is coming, and never forget what his arrival meant for those who patiently waited for him.

If your hope has started to fade, and if these uncertain times have started to weigh you down, please know that God is with us on this journey. God will not leave us abandoned.

We are almost there! Allow the promises of the Lord to reign over your life today, and hope in the Lord!

How may the Advent season and Christmas look or feel different for you this year? What gives you hope?

God, we thank you for your grace and mercy. We thank you for the ways you have reminded us that you are near to those who love you. Renew our hope in you! Amen!


Rev. Tabitha Mock Rankin serves as the Campus Minister and Director of the Wesley House at Tyler Junior College and is pastor of Brocks Chapel UMC in Quitman, Texas, Johnson Chapel UMC in Mineola, Texas, and Center UMC in Hawkins, Texas. 

A Closer Christmas is brought to you by the Communications Department of the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. To be considered as a future blogger, please contact Shannon W. Martin, Director of Communication at smartin@txcumc.org.