Advent: Sharing Stories of Hope, Part 3

John the Baptist mosaic - MykolaIvashchenko/iStock/Getty Images

Welcome to the final installment of this brief series on sharing stories of hope during Advent. Previously, we’ve talked about how, through storytelling, we share our most important values, and how the stories we share, especially about people in need, must be stories of hope or “action motivators” rather than “action inhibitors.”

During the holiday season, it is common to share stories about people in need of our charity and support. In his book, Cannonball Moments: Telling Your Story, Deepening Your Faith, author Eric Clayton reminds us that the stories we tell about those in need must declare, “It’s not too late!” Clayton goes on to explain that it takes discipline to tell a story of hope. It takes discipline to avoid sinking into negativity and pessimism as we talk about the plight of those in need. We see too much of this on social media. Christian storytelling, at its heart, is joyful. Clayton explains:

When we walk with Jesus through the Scriptures, what do we see? What do we hear? What do we feel? Jesus is full of second chances, third chances, seventy-seventh chances. Even the final act of desolation, death itself, becomes a springboard to something new: the Resurrection.

The stories we tell must be stories of transformation, which means that they will be stories of hope. The coming of Jesus is the fulfillment of the hopes of all mankind and, as followers of Jesus, we are called to embody that hope. We are called to proclaim it just as John the Baptist did, as a voice crying out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight his paths!”

It’s not too late!

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

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