Isaiah 11:1-10 “They shall not hurt or destroy;” Now and again there arises a leader who gives hope for the future. So it was long ago in Israel when a new king was born and the prophet wrote of hope… “And the spirit of the Lord shall be upon him. So it was in America when Abraham Lincoln spoke of hope – Let us strive on to bind up the nation’s wounds.” So it was in our lifetime when John Kennedy spoke of hope – Let every nation know we shall pay the price to assure the survival of liberty. So it was when Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of hope – I have a dream – These dreams did not come true, but we continue to dream because we know the dream must come true. One time, long ago, a child was born in Bethlehem of Judea. After a little more than 30 years he died, as Lincolndied, as Kennedy died, as Dr. King died. But, the child grown to a man rose and that has made all the difference. If you are tempted today by what Thomas Merton once called, “the rotten luxury of despair”, Advent might be a time to remember. A prayer – Lord, you make me dream because you give me a hope that will not die. Though our earthly rulers falter and together we seem to drift and die, yet Christ is born and we must dream. Remind me, Lord of what I first learned long ago. Amen Rev. David McMillan, HR is a retired Presbyterian minister. In his retirement he has contributed his talents to Westminster by leading a Sunday morning Bible study, helping with the newsletter, preparing for publication of the new church family photo directory, and most recently by chairing the WPC Centennial Anniversary Planning Committee. He and his wife Elizabeth live at The Beverwyck in Slingerlands.