by Vagel Keller
Dec 10: 2d Sunday of Advent:
The candle we light this day represents HOPE.
According to Lisa Robertson, author of Advent: Making Christmas about Christ, "the word 'hope' has two meanings in the Bible. The first, tiqvah, contains the sense of eager anticipation or waiting. The second, elpis, depicts a sense of confident expectation based on certainty. Biblical hope is secured by God's faithfulness to His promises. For the Old Testament leaders, their hope was in the Messiah's arrival. For us, it is the hope of the Messiah's return. God's plan for humanity unfolded in the town of Bethlehem, the birthplace of the Messiah, joyously fulfilling a long-awaited promise. Today we confidently wait for the Messiah's triumphant return."
Reflection: Often today when we say, or hear someone use, the word "hope" it has an air of wishful thinking, as in blithely "hoping" the Pirates have a winning season (and not really believing they will) or, more seriously, saying "I hope for world peace" but not expecting it in your lifetime. We say, "I hope" when what we really mean is, "I wish." But the hope we share and demonstrate by lighting this candle is not just wishful thinking – we KNOW Jesus died for our sins and that He IS coming back for us; it's just a matter of time. So, in the week to come as we go about our daily lives, let's celebrate real hope through our celebration of God's faithfulness to his promise of Christ's birth and our own faith in, and eagerness for, his return, when there will be real Peace on Earth.
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