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Advent Hope – Never Alone

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Leonard Sweet tells a story about a certain Native American tribe that had a unique way of training young braves. On the night of a boy’s thirteenth birthday, he was led out into the wilderness to spend the night alone. Most young braves, at this time in their lives, had never been away from the security of their elders. Yet on this night, these young teenagers were blindfolded and taken miles away. When each one took off his blindfold, he found himself in the middle of the woods. He was alone, dependent on nothing but the good will of the Great Spirit — and his own survival training.

 We can well imagine what a terrifying night that must have been for these young boys. Imagination magnified every woodland sound, until it seemed like a fearsome monster. But then, finally, each young brave managed to get to sleep — and when dawn broke, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes and looked around. What he saw was an amazing sight: a tall man, standing just a few feet away, armed with bow and arrow. It was his father. He had been there all night long, weapons at the ready — watching over his son as he slept.

 That’s the message we prepare ourselves to celebrate this glorious season.  The heart of Christmas is the doctrine known as the Incarnation: the doctrine that teaches us that “the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory” (John 1:14).   The Incarnation is that doctrine that teaches us that we are not alone – that we are never alone – that there is a God who watches over us and walks with us every step along the way.

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