Sunday marks the start of Advent, which is a time when Christians around the world prepare their hearts and mind for Christmas. But why is this important?
The word Advent is taken from the Latin adventus which means arrival! During this season we prepare ourselves for the arrival of Christ. As I spoke last week, I mentioned that this is two-fold in that we are looking toward the arrival of the celebration of Christ’s birth, but also forward to the second coming.
Over the next four weeks during Virtual Church, we will spend time reflecting on the different themes of Advent: HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE. Each week, we will be led by one of the families connected to St. John in prayer and refection. On this coming Sunday, we will light the candle of Hope.
For us as followers of Christ the word HOPE has a different meaning. In the worldly sense, it can be confused for, or dismissed as, wishful thinking. For example, “I hope the Orioles win.” In this example, there really is no control over whether what we ‘hope’ for will actually happen.
Biblically, HOPE is nothing like this. It is an assurance, a trust placed in God, security, and more. God is not in the business of foregoing his promises – If he claims something to be, whatever it is, then it will be – we can all share in the hope of things to come.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Hope is important to us. It helps us during times of trial, temptation and tribulation, and offers us security. It is a reminder that God is with us and that he will come through.
Rest in the knowledge and love of God. Know that you can depend on his word, and that placing your hope in him is not wishful thinking but the complete opposite.