Hope // Psalm 130:5

It’s the first Sunday of Advent. My first encounter with Advent came from the candy-filled Advent calendars my mom would get for us. You know the ones with the chocolates behind a window that you open each day? My birthday is the 9th, so we always arranged which of the three kids would open the calendar on which day so I always ended up opening on my special day. It was something we looked forward to in our family for sure.

The term, Advent, comes from the Latin, adventus, which means to await with expectation for an important arrival. As kids, we felt December was the longest month in anticipation of Christmas. As an adult (especially as a pastor) I’ve learned that December is one of the fastest months. The problem with the crazy schedules we experience is so often we are ready to move by the time Christmas actually arrives. That, my friends, is why we need Advent! We need it to slow us down and focus on what it means when the Prince of Heaven comes! This is why we turn our attention to four heavenly values to mark each week of this season. The first is, hope.

Hope is not some nebulous optimism. No, hope is the expectation that God and God’s way wins in the even despite the junk we experience in the meantime. We need that hope to anchor our souls with the societal storms we feel all around us (see Hebrews 6:19).

So, as this holy season begins in earnest today, may we follow the advice of today’s Bible verse by waiting with our whole being and hoping in His word. After all, God’s Word isn’t just ink on paper; no, it is the living, breathing Savior of whose birth this entire season draws us to celebrate — none other than Jesus Christ! May our hope be in Him now and forever!