Watch for the Light Advent Devotional
Week 1 ┃ Advent Hope
By Sheila Sekela
Advent season is upon us! This year at South Elkhorn Christian Church our theme is “Watch for the Light”, and this week’s word is Hope.
Hope is a word we use a lot in daily life… “I hope we win!” “I hope I get that promotion!” “I hope I don’t fail this test!” “ I hope the light doesn’t turn red before I get through it!”
We have more serious hopes, too. “I hope it’s not cancer.” “I hope my child will overcome addiction.” “I hope my life is making a difference in the world.”
Scripture speaks often of hope, as in these verses:
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12)
“I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
The “Hope” week of Advent, though, is to focus our attention on our longing, our desire, our hope for the Light of the World, Jesus. For 400 years the Israelite people waited after the last prophet spoke of a coming Messiah. We have seen the light of those longings fulfilled! We know about the resurrection and our hope is a very confident one. And yet there is still much to hope and long for. Isaiah 9:6-7 tells us
“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.”
I don’t know about you, but I find myself longing for justice and righteousness and peace in this world. John 1:4-5 calls Jesus the “light shining in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” Someday, though, everyone will see His light and understand it, and the long-ago words of Isaiah will finally be fulfilled. Until that day, let’s celebrate Christ’s nativity advent as we look forward to His coming kingdom, in confident hope.