God often works by sending hope into difficult situations. Have you experienced this? Perhaps in a low time, or facing difficult decisions or loss, you weren’t sure that God (or anyone else) could help. Then God sends a dose of hope, one that gets you moving again.


We’ve shared stories in worship about hope that comes to people and circumstances where there is struggle, conflict or great fear. I reflect on our Christmas story and how Mary needed confirmation for what God had told her. She travels to stay with a much older cousin, Elizabeth, who is also facing an unusual pregnancy. Elizabeth blesses Mary and confirms for her that God is working in Mary’s life. Has someone does this for you? Or have you been an Elizabeth who helped someone to understand that God is very present? God is helping, sending hope, giving guidance and encouragement. We may see it and share, even when someone else does not. We are blessed whenever we can be in that position to minister to another so much in need of God’s hope. Sunday we remember these two courageous women, called by God to serve, who find their life story being brought into God’s great story. May we always be willing to let God move our desires, our abilities and passions and our faith, into God’s story of faith. We want others to find hope through us and our willingness to participate in what God is bringing to our often troubled earth. Sunday, we come to meet and worship God who invites us into the story of Jesus’ birth and life.


Rev. Dr. Dave Summers, Senior Pastor
Paradise Valley United Methodist Church
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