Advent Week 1: HOPE
Hope is the longing of your heart and soul for the reign of King Jesus. It is only fitting that hope would begin the season of Advent. We begin by making sure our longing is in the right place. As citizens of God’s Kingdom, our longing this season should not only be for gifts, food, rest, or even family. Yes, all those things are beautiful gifts from God, but the most precious gift is the coming of God’s son. Advent must begin with our hearts set towards the coming of King Jesus.
My heart likes to drift away from that desire. It finds other hopes to latch on to. All those hopes turn out to be poor moorings because, as good as they might be, I need something greater to hope for. Rest, family, and gifts are exciting around this time of year, but eventually I let out a sigh because I know my heart is hoping for something more, something greater.
I think I long to hope for something greater because hope leads to purpose. What I hope for causes me to act and think a certain way. Israel hoped for the coming of the Messiah and it changed what they did. People were willing to follow anyone who claimed to be the Messiah because they longed for God to be revealed in the Messiah and save Israel. Peter understood this. When given the chance to walk away from Jesus he said, “Where else can we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
This first week of Advent is a time to align the desires of your heart with God’s desire to make Himself known to the world. Hope is why we can fight from a place of victory. Hope is why we keep saying “Yes” to Jesus. Hope is why we are determined to make disciples who change the world through the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God. Hope does not see an empty throne room.
Hope knows the King is coming.
Sundays are special, set-apart days of Advent. Traditionally, every Sunday of Advent we light a candle. Three of the five candles are purple—the traditional color associated with Advent. Purple represents mourning, longing, and grief. Without a Savior, we are left with our sin and are in desperate need of rescue. During Advent, we wait. We long, and we mourn. On this Sunday, we encourage you to light the first candle—representing our longing for the hope of Christ. With your family or community, read through some or all of the Scriptures for this Sunday and light the candle for hope.
How does your heart need to change to hope for God to come?
Pray this prayer throughout the week:
Sovereign Lord, help me to remember your promise. Direct my heart to follow you as King, for you have revealed yourself to the world and saved your people.