This Sunday we lit the candle of HOPE. Hope is the theme of this first week of Advent. It is with expectant hope that creation stood in wait of Isaiah’s prophecy of a child that would save us. A child named Immanuel. God with us. And it is with hope that we anticipate His second arrival. When Immanuel God will be with us once again.
I believe that it was always God’s desire to be with us. To walk amongst His creation. His beloved children. But with the bite of fruit, came a sweet, but bitter taste. The taste of sin.
This sin separated us from God, but God gave us a promise of hope, that He would once again walk amongst us. This time God would come in human form. A tiny baby named Jesus.
Not only did God walk amongst us in the human form of Jesus, but He also had a plan to do away with the religious mindset and legalism which lead to His people carrying a heavy and oppressive burden of guilt, shame, and unworthiness. Jesus confirmed Isaiah’s prophecy that He would shatter this oppressive yoke, and offered us the gift of HOPE…
With His first arrival, Jesus came as Immanuel. God with us. Out of love, He came to take away the burden of earning our salvation, and His gift of life offered us a place beside Him in Heaven.
And now we wait. We eagerly wait in HOPE with anticipation of His second arrival for what we cannot see but what we know will surely come.
We wait in HOPE for when the sufferings of this present time are no longer. When creation itself, will be set free from bondage and our bodies redeemed.
We wait in HOPE for when every tear will be wiped from our eyes. When death, grief, crying, and pain will be no more,
We wait in HOPE for His second adventus. His glorious entry! We wait for our Immanuel…when God will be with us forever and ever.
This first week Advent may we wait and put our hope in His Word. Let us remember the gift of HOPE that He gave us with His first arrival and the HOPE we eagerly await in His promise that He will be with us once again.
* Take time to read these scriptures today:
Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son and name him Immanuel.
Matthew 1:21-23 – “She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.”
Isaiah 9:4-7 – For you have shattered their oppressive yoke and the rod of their shoulders, the staff of their oppressor, just as you did on the day of Midian. For every trampling boot of battle and the bloodied garments of war will be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.
Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Romans 8:24–25 – Now in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.
Revelation 1:7 – Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. So it is to be. Amen.
Revelation 21:3-4 – Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.
Psalm 130:5 – I wait for the Lord; I wait and put my hope in his word.
* Think About It:
Think on the word “hope” and record in your journal what that word means to you during this Advent season as you put your hope in the Lord and the promises of His Word.
Blessings to you this Christmas and Advent season!