December 3, 2023

We are now in the season of Advent. Each day through  Epiphany will feature a devotional from UKirk’s “Words for Waiting” written by someone connected to the UKirk network. To sign up to receive daily devotionals by email, go to www.UKirk

Mark 13:24-37

I never know what to do with apocalyptic texts during Advent, when Jesus gives us cosmic signs that seem to be pointing to the beginning of the end of the world. How is this good news? On this first Sunday of Advent when congregations light the candle of HOPE on the Advent wreath, where is the hope in this passage?

Maybe a different question is: where is hope when all signs point to things falling apart? Where is Jesus when the world around us is crumbling with suffering and despair?

The word advent means “coming” or “arrival,” and once I get past my initial reaction, what I realize is that it is into the cosmic crumbling, despair, and suffering that the Son of Man comes. When we see these signs of the beginning of the end, verse 29 invites us to realize that Christ is at the door of our hearts, our lives, and our world, coming to us amidst all the signs to the contrary.

What I love about the Advent season is that it is a time to remember not only that Jesus was born 2,000 years ago, but also to pay attention to Christ’s second arrival, in our lives and the life of the world now. Jesus doesn’t leave us to fend for ourselves during difficulty – he is near. That gives me hope!


Holy One, when it feels like our lives are falling apart, or that there is no hope for our world, may we know that that is precisely when you are often nearest to us. Help us to be awake to your Love and Presence surrounding us and giving us hope. Amen.

Rev. Gini Norris-Lane Executive Director, UKirk Collegiate Ministries Association