ADVENT WEEK 1: HOPE
Thanks so much for taking the time to read our staff’s weekly write-ups. As I write this we are just over a month away from Christmas!! Christmas is a special time around the Finstad house. My wife’s favorite day of the year for our family is the day we get to put up the Christmas decorations. We listen to Boney M’s Christmas Album (greatest album ever created), we drink egg nog and reminisce about all the “unique” decorations that are kids created when they were small children. It doesn’t end there, Hallmark Christmas movies take over our television and we are able to watch the same plot happen night in night out.
All jokes aside, I love the Christmas season (not a big fan of the weather) but I love what it represents, and that’s the birth of Jesus. As we move into advent over the next few weeks, I think of what advent really means. The word advent itself means “arrival” or “an appearing or coming into place. This advent season lasts for 4 Sundays. The advent celebration is both a commemoration of Christ’s first coming and anticipation of His second coming. As Israel longed for the Messiah to come, so Christians long for their Saviour to come again. Advent is seen as a time to prepare one’s heart for Christmas and for the eventual return of Christ. The first symbol of Advent is Hope.
I was reading a devotional that grabbed my attention, it was titled, “Hope when it seems scary.” That Jesus’ Mom, Mary, knew this feeling well. An angel comes to Mary and lets her know that she was pregnant. That this baby growing inside of her was chosen to save the world. Could you imagine what that would be like? How could you even share this news? What are people going to think? But Mary knew that this was from the Lord. Instead of asking the Lord, “why me?,” she sings a song to the Lord that’s found in Luke 1:46-49, “My soul glorifies the Lord47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me - holy is his name.” Here, Mary receives this massive news that is life-altering in so many ways and she doesn’t get upset but rejoices and has hope because she knew that God was evident in her life and that He was in control.
During this advent season, is there a need or something large in your life that you need to trust God with? I want to encourage you to reach out to someone, reach out to your coffee club, reach out to leadership, but most importantly reach out to Jesus, he is our HOPE.
Praying for you!