“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in the Lord.”
—Lamentations 3: 21-24
It’s almost impossible to insulate against our ever-increasing connectivity to the world’s trouble. If we aren’t facing it, it stalks us as we scroll social feeds and when news snippets assail us. In fact, while pumping gasoline today, the screen sounded-off headlines of violence, strife, and heartache. The world’s woes aren’t new. Even still, it’s difficult to hold on to hope when things due legitimate lament besiege us.
This was also true for the Israelites. We read in the book of Malachi, the final book of the Old Testament, 400 years before the birth of Christ, they, too, saw a world full of trouble. Post-exile, God’s people endured a ruler who did not represent their values. They experienced corruption within the church. And they withstood economic uncertainty due to poor climate conditions. The days of peace and prosperity seemed like they’d never return. Despite hard circumstances, the Israelites had had hope. God had promised of a coming savior, Emmanuel. Promised, but not yet fulfilled. They wanted and waited, expectantly.
This past Sunday marked the first week of Advent. This week is an invitation to join the Israelites in anticipation of our great Hope, our coming King. They waited for Christ’s birth. We wait for his return. This week, join us in considering our eternal want before Christ came to save. Join us for anticipating Jesus’ coming again– when he heals the world, once and for all. A time when Jesus will bring ultimate peace, justice, and righteousness to the world and an end to tears. Join us to hope in Him.
In week one’s Advent wreath tradition, light one of the outer candles, symbolizing hope.
Come, Thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
Join us for our Advent series: