“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.” –Romans 5:1-2
Each morning when I am on the treadmill or one of the other workout machines in the fitness center at the YMCA, I overlook the gymnasium. On the wall of the gym, in large, colorful block letters are the simple words: Caring, Honesty, Integrity, and Responsibility.
I don’t know how many people notice those words on the gym wall, but they offer the possibility of a more hopeful existence if they are truly lived. Think if in each day we made the intentional decision to be more caring to those we encounter; to be honest in all our interactions; to live with integrity; and to take responsibility for the things we say and do.
The four weeks of the Advent season are a time of waiting and preparing for the coming of the Christ child as Emmanuel, which means God with us. The themes for each week of Advent are Hope, Love, Peace, Joy. What if we also took on one the hopeful words from the gym wall each week…Caring, Honesty, Integrity, Responsibility.
In the midst of all that fills our own lives and that is going on in the world, Advent marks the hope and possibility of something new. It would certainly be something new if we blended Hope, Love, Peace, and Joy with Caring, Honesty, Integrity, and Responsibility. In the words of singer/songwriter Sam Cooke, “What a wonderful world it would be.”