It’s the start of advent can you believe it? For the next four Sundays we can delve deeper into God’s word and promises of a saviour. Everyone knows the basic message of advent. The celebration of the birth of our saviour Jesus Christ. But what is advent anyway? And how and why do we celebrate?
What is advent?
Advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the birth of Christ at Christmas and the return of Christ at the Second Coming. For western Christians it is the beginning of the liturgical year. Advent is a derivative of the Latin word “adventus” meaning “coming”. It is literally the celebration of Jesus’ coming to earth.
The candle of Hope
In this day and age, where evil abounds and all seems lost, we can also hope that the prophecies about Jesus’ second arrival to earth will also be fulfilled. The sombre purple colour on the candle represents repentance and fasting as we anticipate the Lord’s coming. Purple doubles as a colour for royalty throughout the Bible, symbolizing God’s kingship and reign.
For many the word hope means to have wishful thinking in something or someone. Often, we lose sight of that hope when the grey clouds surround us and we go form battle of battle feeling like we are always losing. For many of us we hope 2021 will be better than this debacle that has been 2020. But biblical hope is entirely different. Biblical hope is the assurance that we can confidently wait in expectation of God’s fulfilment of His promises. Coupled with faith and love, hope is part of the abiding characteristics we all should strive for. Biblical hope doesn’t just wish for something to happen, it expects that it will happen.
Why should we have hope?
Well, if 2020 is anything to go by then we all could use a little hope right about now. Hope that covid-19 does one. Hope that we can sociallise freely with friend again. Hope for hugs and kisses for the ones we hold most dear to us. Hope for a brighter 2021 and bright future in general. When Adam and Eve committed the first sin, eating of the tree of knowledge of good and eveil n the garden of Eden that fateful day, God promised he would send a son to right that wrong and ever sin after it. We are all living in the middle of the mess right now. SOme of the biggest earth has seen, but we must not lose hope in our God who right every wrong, mops ever spill and cleans up all messes.
That first advent wasn’t about gingerbread biscuits, hot chocolate and whipped cream or even Christmas trees. It was an act of God. The beginning of the war on death and darkness. In a year full of death and darkness, Hope is what we have to cling onto.
How can we have hope?
We read. We pray. We wait. If we read scripture, we are then rooted in God’s word. We pray and have communion with God and then we wait. Having hope is intertwined with faith. In Hebrews 10:22 it states that we should draw near to God with the “full assurance that faith brings”. We must remain faithful to the hope God promises us.
Our hope should not waver, if our faithfulness is rooted in God. We need to remain convicted in the thigs we cannot see. Faith is confidence in the word and promises of God and our confidence in this is hope.
What are your hopes over this advent season? Have you let you hope waver during 2020? What do you hope for in 2021? Leave you comments below.