This past Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent (coming). This is the time of year when we prepare our hearts to celebrate Jesus’s birth.
“The promise for Israel and the church is Jesus Christ.
The Lord has come to hear and will arrive again.
This is the essence of Advent.”
The Advent Wreath is usually made of evergreens wrapped around a ring. The wreath has candles placed around the circle surrounded by evergreens.
There are three purple and one pink candle.
Those candles represent HOPE, FAITH, JOY, and PEACE.
There is a fifth white candle inside the ring, and it is lit on Christmas day to celebrate Jesus’ birth.
The evergreens of the wreath symbolize everlasting life during winter and death.
The ring’s circular shape symbolizes God’s never-ending love and eternal life HE makes possible.
This past Sunday, we started our Advent season. A family is chosen or volunteers to share a devotion and lite the candle. We lit the first purple candle, which symbolizes HOPE, sometimes called the Prophecy Candle. It represents the HOPE felt in expectation of the coming Messiah.
The Bible: Isaiah 40:31
“But those who HOPE in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.”
The Dictionary describes HOPE:
“HOPE is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen, a feeling of trust.”
Bishop Desmond Tutu said:
“HOPE is seeing the light despite all of the darkness.”
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here.
Until the Son of God appears.
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
I have thought a lot about HOPE over the years, especially in this current season of my life. Sometimes I had to dig deep to find reasons to HOPE, continue living, and come out of the pit.
Jesus was the HOPE I had to re-embrace to survive. I said re-embrace because I had let go of all HOPE and had nothing to cling to but pain, grief, suffering, and deep sadness. Ironically, I saw my most significant turnaround during the Advent season. Toward the end of the Advent season in 2016, I saw a light of HOPE at the end of the tunnel. It took a year of HOPE, prayer, God’s word, and therapy to get into a good head space. I knew that I could not bear my burdens alone, and I desperately needed Jesus if I was going to survive.
During the Advent season of 2017, I started to find my way back to my first love.
Back to HOPE.
Back to Living.
Back to Christ.
I have rediscovered my HOPE again, and I don‘t intend on letting my HOPE or my GOD go again!