This Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent and the theme is Hope. Hope in the Bible has a different meaning than what most folks normally think. Scripturally “Hope” is the calm assurance that God will do what God says and give us what we need.
Most parents make every effort to provide their children with what they want for Christmas, if it’s within their ability to do so. However, sometimes even when it’s within their ability to provide what their children want, some parents are like God who gives us what we need rather than what we want.
Such is the case when God gives us the hope of salvation. Advent teaches us to prepare (make ourselves open to receiving) the hope, peace, joy and love God’s salvation brings. On this first Sunday of Advent, we should be “Preparing for Hope.”
When I was about 11, for Christmas I saw “a lightweight coat of many colors” as it was advertised to children from the Joseph story in the Bible. I wanted that coat badly. I didn’t get the coat. Instead, I got a dark green hooded coat with a warm lining. I was very disappointed in not getting the coat I wanted. That disappoint dissipated when the full effects of a harsh winter came in January and February.
Looking back, I’m glad Mama saw past what I wanted to what I really needed. That’s what the hope of salvation does from God. God seeing past what we want to what we need. “Preparing for Hope” means having the calm assurance that God will give us what we need when we hope in God.
Join us in worship at Covenant this First Sunday of Advent as we begin our journey toward the fullness of our salvation that was birthed in the Christ Child. We begin this Sunday with “Preparing for Hope,” the title of my sermon based on “Isaiah 2:1-6” and “Matthew 24:36-44.”