27 November 2011

Waiting in Hope

Advent. A time of waiting before Christmas, four Sundays of waiting.
 Today marks the first Sunday of Advent, traditionally the prophet, or hope candle on the Advent wreath. Really, though, it is the same thing. The prophets fortold Messiah, speaking to a peple who had nothing else to hold onto. They gave hope to a naton that God was not dead, they had not been forgotten. Messsiah was comming.

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
   who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
   one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
   from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
   when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
   to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD,
   in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
   to the ends of the earth.
And he shall be their peace.

(Micha 5:2-5)

Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
(Jeremiah 23:5)

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
   Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
   righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
   on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
(Zechariah 9:9)

These men had a calling from God to say what He told them, and part of what he told them was that a Savior was coming.

So Israel waited, as we now wait through Advent, for the coming of One who would save them. Six hundred years, they waited. And hoped.

As we wait for the celebration of the birth of Messiah, what is your hope this advent? Is it in Jesus the Christ, born 2,000 years ago? Are you hoping in Him, trusting that He will fulfill His promise? That is a challenge for this season. Put your hope in Him, Him who is and was and always will be our hope.


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