Saturday, December 6, 2014

We Hope

The First Sunday of Advent is traditionally called the Sunday of Hope. We light the Hope candle on our Advent Wreath and we hope for the return of Christ to reign in His world.

This hope is more than a wish. This hope is as needed as life and breath at this time. Hebrews says that “faith is the evidence of the unseen” (Hebrews 11:1). I think we could say the same for hope.

This year has brought us the loss of loved ones. Some who are near and dear to us will not be at our Christmas table this year. We miss them. There is a hole in our lives and we HOPE in the resurrection, that time when we hope for our own resurrection and rely on the promises of Christ Jesus that all those who belong to him will see his faith and gather around his throne to rejoice in his goodness.

This year has brought us increased racial tensions. An event happens between people of different races and others immediately proclaim that the event is the product of one race hating the other, or, maybe, both races hating the other. The consequences ripple throughout society and the world and other lives and families suffer as well. Riots, lootings, and arson destroy neighborhoods that were already on the brink of poverty and collapse. Opportunists use the tension to cause chaos and sow discord. They attempt to destroy our hope that love and peace can reign between races, cultures, political and socio-economic differences.

We need the Prince of Peace who brings Hope in our lives now more than ever. Today we light the Candle of Hope, not just because it is the First Sunday of Advent, but because we need our own act of defiance. We light a candle in the blackness of human sin and suffering and we proclaim the coming of the one who brought salvation to humankind and who will bring the fruits of the Spirit in our midst and gather us around his throne, regardless of color or any other divider we experience in this world.

We Hope.

Pastor Craig