Andrew: Through the prophet, Isaiah, God made this promise to us, His people:
Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Dee: This is the season of hope. Today we celebrate the beginning of Advent, the time of year when we remember how God gave us hope by sending Jesus into the world to be our Savior. That hope is real to all of us who have gathered for worship today. No matter what pain you’ve suffered. No matter what obstacles you face. No matter what questions remain unanswered, you have hope today because of Jesus.
Linda: God also gives us hope through His people—His people here at Parisview. Our family came here six months ago, deeply wounded and wondering what our future would hold. The first day that we walked into the church, we knew that we were in a place of hope. You loved us. You listened to us. You welcomed us and our ministry. You showed us that church is a good place and that you are truly good people. Today, as our family comes to the end of our ministry at Parisview, we thank God and we thank you, for giving us the gift of hope. As we light the hope candle on the Advent wreath, we pray that the light of hope will shine upon you today.
(Light hope candle)
Josh: Let us pray. We thank you, God, that you are at work in our lives, working to give us hope and a future. Thank you for the hope that our family has experienced through the love of Parisview Baptist Church. And I pray that every person here, no matter what his or her need, will be touched and changed by hope today. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.