The Tried-and-True Quartet

Lisa and I have a friend with a strong inclination to decorate her home with words. If you have made a recreational trek to Hobby Lobby, Kirkland’s, or TJ Maxx, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Picture frames come etched with belonging words like family or best friends. Inspiring words like courage show up on pictures of, well courageous looking things. Scriptures always sell well it appears. Graduations, births, wedding days all call for event specific words. And then there are the carved-in and painted-on sayings, possessing varied degrees of humor, advice, perspective, profoundness, and thanks to our friend and her word-worshipping tribe, profitability.

As we approach yet another season of Advent, the church has historically hung words on certain Sundays. They serve to draw attention to the things God wills and wishes for us all and is provided through the gift of the Christ. This year we are sticking with the tried-and-true quartet of hope, peace, joy and love. They mark the outline of our Advent devotional guide and the themes of four Sunday services. You will hear them in the songs, sermons, and scriptures of each December Sabbath.

Because these are such great and deeply desired gifts, it is no surprise that those wonderful words reside in some of the holy alphabet’s most familiar lines. In Philippians, we learn that God wants to give us a future and a hope. Jesus left this earth leaving us the promise of his peace. The joy of the Lord is our strength, I hear. And the greatest of these is love. What a foursome. So in the days ahead, let these words roll around in your head. Allow them to sink into your soul. If it helps you to see them hanging on a wall, by all means nail them up. I know our wordy friend would. Good words these are; hope, peace, joy and love. I expect to see them a lot in these days, and maybe even experience them at least a little. We can hope, so how about we start there.