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.

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