Yesterday was the first day of Advent for 2011. According to the World English Dictionary the word advent is defined as: an arrival or coming, especially one which is awaited.
Many children will begin opening an Advent calendar on the first day of December as their countdown to presents. I love presents too (sure, it’s great to be the giver but I love receiving just as much), but Advent is much more than the countdown to opening presents. A true Advent season waits with anticipation of the Gift, which is Christ. Some churches celebrate Advent, others hardly acknowledge it. I’ve attended both types of churches but since I was 20, I’ve celebrated Advent through daily Bible readings, directed towards the 4 themes for each week of Advent – hope, joy, peace, love.
Join the Kingdom Bloggers each day for a personal reflection on the week’s theme; included each day will be a Bible reading which will engage you into the theme of Advent as well. We welcome your comments and Christmas Advent memories.
My Man has been watching Occupy Vancouver (a takeoff from Occupy Wall Street) with great interest, but as he watches the news, he is more and more frustrated and agitated by them. A few Facebook friends have also commented about our local situation with disdain and judgement. I understand their judgement. It’s easy to criticize the behaviour but when we look at the heart, as the Lord does, we see they have lost hope so this is the very best they can do to try to summon up hope.
I see hopelessness or misdirected hope all the time; what’s most difficult is when I realize many people prefer to carry on hoping in the ridiculous, rather than Jesus, who is the hope of the nations. My hope is in Jesus and the promises of God – everyone else or everything else will fail me but Jesus and the promise will never fail.
Romans 3:23 says that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but Colossians 1:27 explain the antidote for lost glory, which is Christ in us, the hope of glory. This is incredible. Through Christ, we can have it all because it was paid for by the cross. Truly this is the hope Hebrews 11:1 refers to, “now faith if being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
And hope is not only for the future but it is for now as well. Proverbs 13:12 says, hope deferred makes the heart sick but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. We don’t have sick hearts because through Christ and the new covenant, we are given a new heart and our longings are fulfilled. Instead of choosing from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which satisfies only the soul, we can pick and eat from the tree of life, which satisfies our spirit.
This is hope, and it is Christ who has come into the world and is coming again.
Is Christ your hope?
WeeklyAdvent Bible Reading Plan:
Monday, November 28, 2011: Colossians 1:3-27
Tuesday, November 29, 2011: Psalms 130
Wednesday, November 30, 2011: Lamentations 3:21-33
Thursday, December 1, 2011: Ephesians 1:3-15
Friday, December 2, 2011: Hebrews 7:11-28