HOPE : Advent: First Sunday
There is something magical in the process of the leaves turning from its lush green to the spectacular hues of yellows, oranges, reds, and browns.
Yet, isn’t it interesting how this is the process of leaves dying? In our usual human thinking, death is an end and something to grieve, and something we all must face.
It is either with fear or with hope that we must face it.
But, as we see through the evidence of Creation, our God has made death beautiful with a display of hope, love, joy, and peace.
These are the four symbolic words of the advent candles. The four-week countdown, starting today, of preparing our hearts to the celebration of what God has provided: a Savior to give us a hope in a life that is eternal, a love that is unconditional, a joy that wells up from the fount of living water, and a peace that surpasses all human understanding.
This isn’t reserved only once a year, or if you’ve been a good little boy or girl, or even upon religious conditions. It is a remembrance of what He had finished once and for all for every breath of every day no matter what season of life you are in. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
It is His grace by faith upon hearing about this marvelous Savior that we, too, can finally have hope, love, joy, and peace from the One who is the very essence of these very intangible gifts.
Hope in Him. Remember the gospel. And lift your head in thanksgiving to the One who took death and made it beautiful.
It is this hope that the prophets pointed to: the One who will save
It is this hope that Adam and Eve heard about in their fall: the One who will crush sin and death
It is this hope that Mary tucked away in her heart: the One who is coming to save the world
2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:2-6, ESV)