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And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – Romans 5:5

I’m not sure who is more excited to see Frozen 2, me or my children. Which works out well since they want to watch them over and over. Even if I was not a fan the first time I watched it, I get won over on repeat viewings. That was no different with Frozen. My family likes to remind me that I feel asleep the first time we watched it at the theater (that was an expensive nap). The next time I watched it, I kept saying, “Olaf is hilarious.” To which I they said, “we know dad.” My favorite part is the song “In Summer” especially at the end when Olaf is singing about how much he loves summer, Kristoff says, “I’m going to tell him.” Anna replies, “Don’t you dare.” Of course, in the end, Olaf is able to enjoy summer because of Elsa’s magic.

This is the power of joyous hope. Hope invites us to see a future that others do not see. For Olaf, it is the hope of a summer stroll and picnic with his friends. For us it could be the joy of retirement, landing the job you always wanted or the hope of repairing a broken relationship. Hope opens a window in our present circumstance so that we can see out into a better future. We need the kind of hope that only God can provide. It’s the kind of hope that is a gift of love freely given that invites us to see past our current reality through the eyes of God.

This Sunday begins the season of Advent. This season reminds us that in the midst of all of our expectations, demands, and complications, a savior is coming who brings hope. This just may be the gift that you need this Christmas. Perhaps it has been a difficult year financially or it’s been complicated between those you love the most. Whatever season you find yourself in, my prayer is that you see the hope of Christ. The one who has come in the darkest of circumstances to bring light, love and hope. May this hope help you see a better future that others may not see just yet, even if it is as absurd as a snowman in summer. Hope reminds us that with God, all things are possible.

Rev. Chad McSwain