Advent 2020


Hope: a beacon in adversity

This year, I had the most amazing gift given to me: it was the gift of time. As I set out at the beginning of the year on my sabbatical, I traveled many miles from home and visited several countries, seeing how Christians around the world worshipped. However, it was in Sri Lanka, in St Anthony’s Church, Colombo, that I witnessed the hope of Christians. 

On Easter Sunday 2019, this place experienced a horrific act of violence when their church was bombed while they worshipped. It was here that I was most struck by the congregation of the church. They refused to allow that experience to silence the reality of the hope they had. The church continued to thrive as a beacon in the face of adversity! 

The God of hope provides all of us with good and perfect gifts. The gift of hope is around us – in every situation that we find ourselves in. 

I invite all of us to look for hope in this season and in the year ahead. I challenge us to seek those places of hope in our souls. And I pray that we will be surprised by the hope that is ultimately rooted in the gift, to us, of Jesus Christ.

By Rev Saju Muthalaly of St Mark’s Gillingham.