So, what’s all the noise and fuss about lighting this candle of hope at Advent season? What’s hope anyway in this bad, sad world of ours? What’s up with hope anyways in the wars, the riots, the killings, the shootings, the earthquakes, and all the ‘not so great things’ that happen daily in our own lives and in our own worlds? Hope? Is it some pie in the sky crutch to help Christ ones over the rough patches or some kind of brainwashing that has believers totally running off the reality track? What is it? Where is it and how on the wide side of the earth do we find hope within a world such as this? A world in such utter disarray and chaos? Is this thing Hope, really for real or just some word tossed about to get us by and give us some kind of false idea that all will be better by and by?
Yeah, it is for real! It resides in the hearts and minds of Christ’s disciples ~ in the hearts and minds of His followers. Hope resides there because His followers have tasted of the healing and forgiveness and faithfulness of the Lord and witnessed His hand of goodness even through the storms, the losses, the trials and the fires. Prophecies foretold of this wondrous hope splashed all through the pages of scripture, of this One who would step down from heaven and enter as the only solution, into a world crushed by sin and torn apart by it’s ruthless destruction. He would enter as a babe, so tender, so helpless, so human yet so divine! He would enter humbly and be laid in a manger as the Light of world! As the Saviour of the world! Yes, let’s light a candle to symbolize this Hope for the world! Prophecy foretold the Good news of His coming to take away the ugly sin-stain of mankind and heal their land, their hearts and their souls. Isaiah’s words to Hezekiah in Isaiah 40: 1-5 were words of comfort for the people of Israel at a very difficult time. It was a message of encouragement with the good news of forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. A message still so real and relevant for us today as we sit in a broken world with broken lives ravaged by sin! And ah, yes, beautiful soul, He did come! He came as a babe to live, and walk among us and die and yet rise to defeat death so that our own hearts can be healed and forgiven and made new because the Light of the World came into the world! He came to seek and to save that which is lost. That’s you and I and because of this great event in history, we don’t have to continue to live in the darkness and the ruins of sin that so easily entangle us and make the world the bad, sad world that it is.
Oh yes, the hope is real and for ‘very’ real for sure!! There is Hope laced throughout the brokenness and the darkness of this dismal world, in the form of a Saviour, the Light of the world.
Isaiah 40: 1 – 5
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD ; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.