“And again, Isaiah says, ‘The root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.’” Romans 15:12
Advent. It is the season of waiting. For more than a century Christians all over the world have celebrated the month leading up to Christmas Day in various ways. The lighting of candles, hanging of ornaments, and reading of Scripture remind us of the miracle of Christ’s humble birth in Bethlehem. The first Advent candle, traditionally lit on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, represents hope.
The hope we have as Christians is three-fold. First, it is the hope that has been fulfilled in the first coming of Christ. God had promised His people that from Jesse’s family (Jesse was King David’s father), a king would come to rule over all nations. From the Tribe of Judah, a ruler would come, and in Him, both Jews and Gentiles would find hope. The hope candle reminds us of what Jesus has done for us.
Second, it is the hope that will be fulfilled when Jesus comes again. He came for the first time as a humble servant. He will come the second time as our victorious warrior, forever conquering Satan, sin, and death. Because God is faithful to keep all of His promises, we live in a constant posture of advent as we wait for the return of our King. The hope candle reminds us what Jesus will do for us.
And third, it is the hope that is being fulfilled daily through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Because His Spirit lives in us as His children, we no longer have to wait to know Him, talk to Him, and worship Him. He is with us, in us, and for us each and every day. Through every storm, trial, suffering, and hardship we have hope in Jesus Christ. The hope candle reminds us what Jesus is doing in us.
Advent. A past, present, and future hope in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Father, thank You for the hope we have in Jesus Christ. As we begin the Advent season, please help me to keep my heart fixed on You and the priceless gift of Your Son. In Jesus’ Name, amen.