As Advent begins, we start by acknowledging the weariness, grief, rage, and hopelessness we carry—and we also affirm that we are made for joy. We start the season with Zechariah and Elizabeth; they have battled infertility and have lived many years. Perhaps they feel the weight of hopes and dreams unattained. The angel comes to Zechariah with a promise of good news, but Zechariah can’t fully receive it. Sometimes weariness can harden us and prevent us from living fully. Let us acknowledge the ways we, too, are hardened by disbelief. Like the psalmist, let us ask, “how long?” and plead for restoration.

Scripture: Luke 1:1-23