Thursday, December 05, 2013

The First Candle: Anticipating Hope

This week, we are anticipating hope.

In the time of King Uzziah, Israel was a wicked place. The people had turned from the laws of their God, and were participating in every idolatrous religious practice of the nations around them. But in the midst of all this, a man called Isaiah received a prophecy from the Lord,
There will come a time in the last days when the mountain where the Eternal’s house stands will become the highest, most magnificent – grander than any of the mountains around it. All the nations of the world will run there, wanting to see it, feel it, fully experience it. Many people of all languages, colors, and creeds will come.” (Isaiah 2:2-3, The Voice).



However, before this happened, Israel would be completely destroyed, and only a few of its people would remain. From this remnant, there was One coming, who would take the throne and rule the world. Isaiah 11:1-10 tells us that He would be a shoot rising from this stump of Israel’s former glory as a nation, and with him he brought a leadership defined by a Spirit of wisdom, advocating justice and establishing peace: the One coming brought hope, He was hope.

Jeremiah too, speaking at a different time to the people of Israel, speaks of this same promise from God (Jeremiah 33:14-15). A Branch would sprout from the lineage of David, bringing righteousness and justice. After the time of Jeremiah, Israel crumbles.

Fast forward a few hundred years, to the gospel according to John. John begins his account of Jesus by telling us that the Word, who existed from before the beginning, became flesh and lived here on earth among us (John 1). The same Creator that spoke everything into being came to earth, born of the virgin, from the lineage of David. God's promise was kept, manifesting its fulfillment in his time.

Hope is here. Receive Him.

Let us light the candle of hope in our hearts, and keep that fire burning, for we know that God is with us.

Be blessed and shine with the light of hope!

3 comments:

  1. I missed church this past Sunday to stay home with some children who were getting over a cold, so I missed the lighting of the first advent candle...thank you so much for sharing this, Shanique!

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    Replies
    1. Awww...I'm so glad that you enjoyed it! It's the candle of hope in your heart that really counts! =)

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A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word! -Prov 15:23