The Jewish people were burdened under the heavy hand of the Roman empire. Was there no hope?
Isaiah said, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6 KJV)
The people were looking forward, wondering, yes, hoping. Their hope was in a promise. They were longing for the coming, the Advent, of Messiah.
As Christians, we believe that this hope was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus as told in the gospels of Matthew and Luke.
Yet we find ourselves in a world that may not live under the threat of yesteryear, but our world is filled with troubles, with hatred, with anger, with pandemic and other great diseases of the body and heart. Some, around our world, still live under the heavy hand of government.
We too, like the people of old, find our hope in promise. "I will never leave you or forsake you." "If I go and prepare a place, I will come again and receive you unto myself."
As we approach the Christmas season we can find ourselves celebrating with the world. But, we need to take a step back. We should recognize the brokenness of our world, even the brokenness of our own hearts and contemplate our need for a Savior. Yes, He came as a baby, but for our sakes the Son of God grew into a man who on the cross took the penalty for our sin. Then, He brought recognition of new life through His resurrection, and to give us hope, said, "I will come again."
We also find our hope in an Advent. Not the advent of a child into the world, but the advent of a conquering Lord who promises everlasting life.
This Sunday, November 29, 2020, is the first Sunday of Advent. As we light the Candle of Hope, let us remember the Light of the World, Jesus, who not only came to save us from sin, but who is coming again to make all things new again and to receive us into His presence.
Yes, there is hope!
O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!