Each sunrise presents light and hope for the new day.
Every sunset reflects fulfilled purpose and promise.
From the ends of the earth, to the recesses of my heart –
You are the Hope of Nations, my Savior, and the Light of my life.
Jesus, may I approach each day focusing on the Light You bring.
Focus of the Month: The Promise Fulfilled
We have officially entered the last month of this decade. The question repetitively swirling within me is: “What will I accomplish this month that will close out this decade on a high note and positively affect my direction, focus, and achievements in the next one?” Almost simultaneously, this question crashes in over those meditations: “How will I get anything significant completed in the next 30 days with all the demands and hustle this season already brings?”
These are weighty questions bursting with possibility! How do we keep up with the normal events, add in the celebratory occasions of the season, and prepare for a new decade – without growing weary, stressed, overwhelmed, and – let’s face it – hopeless?
There’s only one way. His name is Jesus. He is the Light of the World, the Hope of Nations, our Beautiful Savior, Blessed Redeemer, Wonderful Counselor, Strong Defender, Mighty Fortress, and Prince of Peace. He is Emmanuel – God with us. And He alone is the way, the truth, and the life.
This season – the four Sundays prior to Christmas – is marked on the traditional church calendar as Advent. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming.” The season of Advent looks back to the Old Testament when Israel was in exile, as they expectantly awaited the coming of the promised Messiah. In addition, many who celebrate Advent recount the faithfulness of God to deliver, heal, and restore throughout the Old Testament. While Israel looks back to God’s deliverance, the church remembers the salvation they experience through the birth of Jesus – the coming of the promised Christ.
More than looking upon the past gracious acts of Almighty God and the gift of His Son, the season of Advent captures the present-day church waiting in eager anticipation of the return of Christ in glory:
“Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31)
Advent is not only a time set apart each year to reflect on the perfect love of the Father, who has provided deliverance through the ages, consummated in the gift of His Son; but it also is a time to expectantly look for the second coming of Jesus in enduring hope.
As we enter this season of Advent – the last Advent of this decade – reflect on the way God has led you, delivered you, healed you, provided for you in the past. Recount the ancient stories showing God’s faithfulness. Remember the perfect gift of love God provided to you through His Son, Jesus. Invite Him into every part of your life – “O come, O come, Emmanuel!”
The Light of Christ pierced this dark world that was in exile, filled our hearts with Hope, and surrounded us with perfect love and peace that passes all understanding. Just as the sun rises and sets each day – the promise of Jesus is fulfilled in our lives – day in and day out. Hope in Him alone. Look to Him for direction. Rest in His perfect plan and infinite wisdom. Allow Him to lead you through this season of Advent, as you fulfill His purpose – His promise – in you in these last days of this decade.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Isaiah 9:6, 42:1-4; Matthew 12:18-21, 24:30, 26:64; John 14:6; Revelation 1:7, 22:20