Sunday, November 29, 2015

The First Sunday of Advent..Hope!



This is the first Sunday of Advent

This first day, this Sunday, is the day of Hope!
Jesus is our Hope...

For many years I have been drawn to the celebration of Advent.

Over the years I have bought many advent wreaths.  Wanting and desiring and feeling drawn to the advent time of year.  Not really understanding its meaning.  It was a countdown til Jesus birthday to me.

This year I do not know what it holds but I am pursuing this time of preparation of the coming of Jesus.  I believe I am to bring you good news and glad tidings.  So as I turn away from Thanksgiving  to my attention turning toward Christmas.  Advent means coming. Not just the looking to Jesus first coming 2,000 years ago in weakness for sinners, but in His second coming in strength and redemption.

Have you failed recently?

Have you failed recently?  I have.  Yesterday and the day before and the day before that.  This morning I was discouraged about my utter failure.  When I thought of Christmas I saw lots of guessing what everyone wanted or needed.  I thought about money that would be spent in preparation with food and decorations as a tree and wreath.  I thought of the time it will take in doing these things and then when it is over, taking it all down and so quickly putting it away for another year.

I was discouraged about my failure.

As I drove to church this morning, discouraged that I had failed yet one more time. I thought how broken I was.  How broken and hopeless the whole world was.  The marriages that have ended, the children that are in rebellion, the bills that don't get paid, the doctor reports and the lack of love among us all.  It seemed an angry world to me and there was nothing I could do to  make it right.  What was I thinking.  I can't even help myself how can I fix anyone else, much less the worlds problems  I tried to do the right thing and say I was sorry, but saw how it was but a drop in an ocean that has no bottom.

It came to me.  God is not discouraged.

It was an overwhelming thought that God is not discouraged.  He is not discouraged about me, my country, families in todays world or any circumstance that surrounds us.   He knew it all before time and He has a plan and it nor I cannot fail.  Not fail beyond His grace.  He knew even before time began I would struggle today.  I was broken over my wrongs and my looking to me to make things right.

I remember when I found myself in a mental hospital some 20 years ago.  I thought if I can just hang on to God through this it will all be ok.  For me and my family.  Many years later I discovered it was not me holding on to God but Him holding on to me.

Christ is our hope!

There is no rhyme or reason to God.  He shows mercy to whom He will show mercy.  We are not left to ourselves.  We cannot help ourselves.  We cannot do it right enough or wrong enough to mess things up or make things happen that only God can do.  Change our hearts.  Heal them.  Make them whole.  Let us see our need for Jesus.  Bring us to begin to realize just how much we are loved.

Christ has come and is coming back

As I sat in church and heard the words of my pastor...we hang the wreaths, and decorate our homes, bake the food and buy the presents to celebrate the coming of Jesus.  He is our hope.  Not only did He come but He is coming back.  He will come and all things will be made whole and right and new.  He is Christ the Redeemer.

He ask the question...How does knowing you are loved by God change your life?

Whatever your suffering, we do not always know the reason why, but can know He is with you...Someday it will all be made right.  His presence is with you.  He is your comfort.  His love is beyond any love this world has known.  You may not see God make things right or you right in this life but when He returns it will be.  It is a promise.  The brokenness of this world will be turned into the glory and light of our Lord and Savior. There will be no more darkness but the Light of the World, Jesus will return for us.

God has a great zeal for us.

God is zealous for us.  He is determine and persistent and faithful.  He will not let us go.  He gives us this same zeal for Him and His coming of His Kingdom.  Through His will and not ours.  Through the coming of Jesus.

So may we not look to ourselves and lose hope but to our Savior and King who is the Redeemer and our Hope!  He is coming back...and in a twinkling of an eye we will be like Him.  So to experience and believe this year He is with us...to seek His face...to seek His comfort and to long for personal relationship with the lover of our souls...to care for us...to guide and teach us... to give others the same comfort we have...to join us and know our suffering...to know our temptation...to heal us...to know us completely and be loved by Him as no one else can is Christmas.

So may we ask the Lord to prepare our hearts for the most wonderful time of the year.  The celebration of our Hope, Jesus!  The coming of the baby who saved us.