Weekly Devotionals

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Advent – Week One – HOPE
by Chaplain Tina Bells (Hamilton Booth Centre)

Reading: Genesis 3:1-15  and John 1:9:

14-15 “God told the serpent:“Because you’ve done this, you’re cursed,    cursed beyond all cattle and wild animals,Cursed to slink on your belly    and eat dirt all your life.I’m declaring war between you and the Woman,    between your offspring and hers.He’ll wound your head, you’ll wound his heel.”

Starting Advent off with the theme of hope is no coincidence because hope is at the heart of the story of Jesus. From Genesis 3, we see early the hope God gives, that the He who would “wound” the head of the serpent was humanities promise that this hope would arrive one day to restore mankind. This hope is part of the whole of the Bible, we see it laid throughout the Old Testament, it shows up time and time again in scripture until it is fulfilled in Jesus and stretches to today, where we can continue to see that hope spring up around us if we look for it.

In the Book, No Cure For Being Human it says, “Christian’s believe God is past, present and future. Wrapped into a story without clocks. Jesus arrives as a baby with parents and a bedtime. And so the Christian understanding of what is forever, and what is chronology bends around him. God is eternal but Jesus never made it to middle age. Jesus was born around the year 4 BC but was also hanging around when God created the earth. Part of the mystery of the trinity, the father, son and holy spirit, is we believe the divine is behind us, with us and before us. We are pulled toward eternity believing that God is already there”.

As humans in a world of hopeless pessimism, the idea of Jesus, the time bender who was both in the beginning, a story from the past, part of our present and is the future, can feel abstract and useless in our deepest pain because all we really have is now. But the purpose of Advent, marking each week as we wait and anticipate the coming of Christ, is to remind us that our waiting is not in vain but one we can have hope in because God keeps His promises, in a God who knows our pain, and both lived and died for us.

John 1:9 says, The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” This isn’t wishful thinking or an assurance that things will work out our way in the end, it’s a hope that goes against the constant hopelessness that is in our world, in the news, in the way our minds think. It’s a rebellious hope. The world has always been a dark place but knowing Jesus means this life is not just filled with darkness and despair but with hope of Jesus and His Kingdom to the here and now. 

Remembrance Day 2021

Soldiers are trained to faithfully follow the orders of their superior officers, and sometimes these orders change quickly and drastically based on new intel coming their way.
Our Brantford Booth Centre Chaplain Major Steve Daley–a military veteran himself–talks about the parallels between soldiers following orders and Christians following Jesus’ commands to love others and share the Gospel. There’s also some neat little tidbits about the Salvation Army’s witness on the frontlines of war.