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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Advent: Hope

I missed Flashback Friday this month, so I'm doing Flashback Sunday (smile). I wrote this post in 2014:

Today is the first Sunday in the Advent season. If you don't already know, Advent represents the four Sundays leading up to Christmas and is capped by Christmas Day. Traditionally, each Sunday expresses a different theme, usually in this order: hope, peace, joy, love. So today we will talk just a bit about hope.

Every day when we turn on the news or read about it in the paper, we hear and see stories of people living without hope. While there are occasionally positive items as well, more often than not we are treated to significant doses of murder and mayhem; people wigging out on drugs, drowning their sorrows with alcohol, and literally killing themselves. It's evident that there's a great heaviness in our world.

The reality, though, is that where there's life, there's always hope. And at Christmas, we remember the hope that was given to us through Jesus, who came to earth and was born as a human baby for the purpose of living among us, teaching us how to live, then dying that we might be saved for eternity. He is the bridge between us and God and came that we might have hope and abundant life (John 10:10). 
Even preschoolers can learn about Biblical hope. This can be done through examples: when Grandma says she has a Christmas gift for them, do they feel excited or disappointed? Do they expect to receive the gift? Explain to them that this is hope, knowing that Grandma will fulfill her promise just as we know God will fulfill all the promises he has made to us. You can also show how true hope differs from false hope (e.g. ‘I hope that if I drop something heavy on my foot, it won’t hurt.’  Or ‘I hope that if I push my brother, I won’t get in trouble with Mom or Dad.’ Those are foolish hopes).

And now May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)


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