Advent: Hope

Today is the beginning is of Advent. Advent is a time for us to prepare for Christmas. It isn’t about shopping, baking, decorations or even preparing for the annual Christmas concert, play or cantata.

Advent is about what God did for us. It is about God’s Radical demonstration of love.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17 (NIV)

Humans were created by God to have a relationship him. Sadly, humans rebelled. It was God who took the initiative to bring restoration and healing to humans.

 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8 (NIV)

Christ came into a dark world so we might have hope.  A hope that endures even in the most difficult situations. A hope that isn’t based on our circumstances. A hope that gives purpose and meaning even when life seems pointless. A hope that is anchored in the past saving work of Christ, the ongoing strength for today and the promise of future reward.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Advent: Joy

Advent is about the coming of Christ. The coming of Immanuel – God with Us.  Because of Immanuel God with us:

We have hope. We have hope because of despite what junk is in our past through Christ we can have a future. We have hope that no matter what is happening now we have a Heavenly, Father who wants the best for us and has a plan. We have hope of a future reward.

We have peace. Peace that is not contingent upon our current circumstances.  A peace rooted and sustained by Immanuel – God with Us.

We can experience unconditional love. Love that God demonstrated in a radical revolutionary manner. He sent His son to provide hope, peace, love and joy to his enemies. He reached out to us despite of our actions.

We can have true joy.  Joy that is not based upon our present circumstances.  A joy founded on the coming of Immanuel – God With Us