First Week of Advent: Week of Hope
Do you celebrate Advent with your church or your family? Such a lovely time of year. This is a special time when we intentionally remember how Christ came and a time to prepare our hearts to welcome Him anew.
Every night we light the Advent candles. The first week, just one. And each Sunday adding another, until all are lit and shining brightly, reminding us of God’s love for us and the One who is the Light of the World.
We invite you to have a peek into our homes this Advent season. Will you prepare your hearts and homes with us?
Four Sundays before Christmas we begin by lighting the Prophecy Candle. This is the Week of Hope. As the Word says, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5) This is a week to begin to wait with expectancy. To fix our hopes on Jesus. We read the prophecies in the Scripture about Christ and His coming, allowing our hearts to hope to see Him.
Yesterday, the first Sunday of Advent, this was our reading:
Imagine being a young Hebrew girl. Imagine hearing all your life the many prophecies of the Messiah. The great mystery surrounding these passages were never explained to your satisfaction. What did they really, really mean? Who knew?! When would they be fulfilled?! How would they be fulfilled?!
Passages such as Isaiah 61:1-2 brought such a thrill of hope to your heart! “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn.”
We need this One! When, oh, when would such a One come?! Your grandfather looks for Him with dimmed eyes. Your father waits for Him at the synagogue every week. You think, “Will I be able to see prophecy fulfilled or will I, too, be an old lady still looking for that hope?! Will it be fulfilled in my time?”
And imagine if you were chosen to help fulfill that prophecy?
I can only imagine how surreal it must have been for Mary! Many have written much more profound things about her life and speculated more poetically than I ever could. The mystery around it must have felt “other-worldly” for Mary! To have so many blessed prophecies fulfilled through your own obedience! What must that have been like? To have the destiny of the world rest on your obedience to ancient Scriptures? I can’t imagine that feeling!
On second thought…..
Perhaps that’s not so different from all of us! In a sense, the destiny of the world may hinge on our obedience to the Great Commission. I am, after all, God’s plan for the lost. He doesn’t have an alternate plan other than us! The world is supposed to hear, see, and experience His message through us, living out His Word! Weighty? YES! But, what a privilege! Mary was chosen to bring the Message into the world and I have been chosen to carry this message throughout the world!
All the many Scriptures about Jesus were fulfilled! Luke 4:18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
What about those verses about us? “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” The Scriptures that are up to us, remain to be fulfilled. May they be fulfilled in our time!
“Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2