Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Advent: Hope and Anticipation

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, imprisoned and executed for plotting to kill Hitler, once said, “A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes, and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.”

Advent. From a Latin word, it means the coming or arrival of something extremely important. Imagine for a moment, what it must have been like for the Israelites. The Romans held them in bondage. They watched and yearned for their Savior. They knew from the Scriptures that He would come. We remember this by singing, “O come, O come, Immanuel, and ransom captive Israel.” Do we understand the longing they had for their Savior?

I know someone who is in jail. He lies on his bed; he waits; he hopes. His sense of anticipation is heightened when he hears footsteps and voices. His freedom will come someday when the door opens – from the outside.

Christ has already come to earth so we do not look for Him like the Israelites did. We are not in a physical prison.

However, we sometimes create our own prisons. Choices we make or our disobedience to God’s principles entrap us in a life much like a prison. We experience pain. We experience loss. We experience rejection.

If we have never placed our faith in Christ for our salvation, we are in another sort of prison. Christ wants to open the door of our prison cell and set us free. John 8:36 says, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

Think about Advent. Think about our hope. Think about freedom. Experience the anticipation and thank God for this season of promise.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rejoicing in Hope

What a stress filled time! The economy is bad. What about our jobs? What if our favored candidate does not get elected? What will happen to our country? Will we lose the freedom that so many fought and died for? What about our health care? Will we be able to see a doctor when we are ill?

Thanksgiving is coming, and we will be gobbling down our turkey. Then, Christmas will be upon us. Where will the money for gifts come from? Who wants to sing carols with all of these concerns?

Worry robs us of the peace that God intended. God did not promise that life will be easy and men will be righteous. He tells us to set our affections on things above, not on things on the earth. Col. 3:2. He promises eternal life to those who know Him and accept the death of His Son for their salvation. So enjoy Thanksgiving and celebrate Jesus’ birth on Christmas. Rejoice always in God’s promise. He never fails.

Labels: , , , , ,