Advent: Living Hope
The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Advent: Living Hope
The year 2020 has been abysmal for most of us. It has been a year of frustrating, negative and divisive politics. We have witnessed hateful words displayed by people on every side of the political spectrum. We have struggled with injustice and violent protest leaving a trail of death and destruction. Toping it off, introduced to our world has been a massive tsunami of a deadly virus which has left hundreds of thousands of dead friends, family and strangers in its wake. Along with the virus has been the struggle of how to deal with it. Some want to shut everything down while others think we should act as if it is not a serious threat at all. Between those two opinions has been a gambit of opinions. Many, fear the results of the pandemic, while others fear the reactions. Some are concerned about the physical health of our world and others turn their concern toward the dangers that come from over-reaction such as depression from shutdowns and loss of livelihoods leading to suicide, bankruptcy, financial chaos and other personal disaster. What has made it even more devastating is the anger on every side toward those in disagreement. And here we sit on the brink of another year with horrendous attitudes and division.
In the midst of all of this cataclysmic physical, emotional and spiritual pain comes God introduces a season of hope. A time where our eyes turn to the heavens and we remember a star observed by wisemen in the east. We are reminded of the Angel who lit up the dark sky above bored, tired and smelly shepherds, men who needed hope in a hopeless world. We are led to recall a baby born in the darkness of a vicious and enslaving Roman Empire to what seemed to be an insignificant peasant Hebrew couple. Yet this was a baby that fulfilled Old Testament prophecy of the Advent, the Coming of the Son of God in human flesh to rescue the entire world from the devastation of hell.
Yes, born into the dark and heartless world of the first century AD was the Living Hope of the Son of the Living God. John calls him the Light of the World that shines into the darkness scattering it because the darkness cannot overtake him.
His light is amazing! The Book of Revelation promises another level of this light yet to come, “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 22:5
Friends, our world has struggled in the darkness of depression, but it is time to remember the Light, the Living Hope is with us now! God gave us the answer long ago. As John 3:16 so aptly says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
It is time for you to find this Living Hope through the Advent Season!
We must focus on the Light of the World, Jesus Christ. We must not only see this beautiful manger scene of the baby lying in a manger, but who he is, what he came to do, where he came to take us, and how he makes all the difference in a world that desperately needs the hope he came to give to all who believe in him. Let this Advent Season build His Hope in you.
This Sunday we will begin our Advent season with the lighting of the Advent Candles and a series of messages that go with our daily devotional guides. This series is titled Advent; Living Hope and this week’s message is called He Will Come Again In Glory based on 1 Peter 1:3-13 and other passages of Scripture. I pray that you will find the Living Hope that everyone needs and that you will share this with everyone you know.
Living with you in the Hope,