First Sunday in Advent – Hope

November 28, 2014 Farmville Enterprise

We celebrated Thursday by giving thanks. Black Friday came and went. Here we are preparing for Christmas. Each year many of us start this season with determination to focus on God and others. We don’t want to succumb to the shopping frenzy around us. We want to teach our children and grandchildren to be more concerned with giving than getting. How can we focus a bit better this year?

In many Christian churches we use an Advent wreath, originally a Lutheran tradition. The circle reminds us of God’s unending love and the evergreen symbolizes its persistence. The four surrounding candles and the Christ candle in the middle represent the coming light of Jesus. At home many of us make a special effort to set aside time to read Scripture and Advent devotions these four weeks.

The theme of the first Sunday in Advent is hope. In Colossians 1:3-6 Paul and Timothy write, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people—  the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel  that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.” Our faith and love spring from our hope. Our hope is in God and his grace.

Verse 27 says “To them [the Lord’s people] God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Yes! This glorious mystery is Christ dwelling in every believer. What better hope could we have than Christ in us? Especially during this Advent season may we give and serve and share this hope with the world.

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