Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is on its way. The scramble to get bargains is on. Finishing off the shopping list is top priority. After all, most of us have already had our Christmas decorations up for a couple weeks.
For many Christians it is also the time for our tradition of Advent. Advent is a time of waiting. The waiting is both past and present. We look back at the waiting of the Jews for the Messiah to come. For many, that is their only focus during Advent.
Yet, we also wait today. We wait for the return of Jesus Christ. We wait for the final fulfillment of God’s plan. Much like the Jews waited for hundreds of years after the prophecies about the Messiah, we have been waiting for nearly two-thousand years since He promised He would return. Perhaps that is why we have become cynical and even lost interest in the wait.
Traditionally, the four Sundays of Advent cover four different topics or subjects. The first topic covered is hope. Just as the Jews put their hope in the coming of the Messiah, we put our hope in Him who came and will come again. Jesus came to give us hope. He has been and continues to be the reason for hope throughout history.
Matthew quotes from the prophet Isaiah in today’s passage. The prophecy was written more than five-hundred years prior to the birth of Jesus. Matthew states in the verse just before he quotes Isaiah that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy.
What does this mean to us today? We can solidify our hope in God’s promises. As God promised the coming of the Messiah hundreds of years before Jesus walked this earth, He has promised that Jesus will return. We can trust God to fulfill that promise, just as He fulfilled His earlier promise. Our hope is built on His promises.
I pray we all strengthen our hope in Jesus through His promises. I pray we trust Him to fulfill His promises. I pray each of us will hold on to our hope in Jesus and look forward to His return. Put your hope in Jesus. Strengthen your hope through evidence of fulfilled promises. Trust Jesus. He never fails.
“Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
He will not quarrel or cry out;
no one will hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory.
In his name the nations will put their hope.”