- arrival: the arrival of something important or awaited (Encarta World English Dictionary)
Week one of Advent involves remembering the “Hope” that’s promised in Jesus. Remembering our “Hope” can be tough for parents who are struggling to get a “grip” in the hectic and expensive season of Christmas. Advent is more than a candle lighting tradition for a few sunday’s each December, it’s one of the foundational tiers of our faith.
I’ve just finished my first book manuscript for Tyndale publishers and I’ve included an excerpt from one of the chapters to illustrate the idea of “Hope”. In it, I remind myself and the reader to remember how God promised to “come for his people”, to restore their lost hopes and dreams to renew their lives… what they didn’t understand in the exile of Babylon was the unique way He would answer that promise… The birth of a baby in sleepy Bethlehem was a big surprise. But a welcome one. I “Hope” you like it 🙂
“God promises to breathe new life into each new era of believers regardless of the current popular culture, economic state or educational environment they may find themselves struggling to survive in. GOOD NEWS INDEED!
“Then he said to me, Prophesy over these bones and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones; Behold I will cause breath to enter you and you shall live”
Ezekiel 37: 4-5 (ESV)
My hope is for you as parents to see that God can handle these unbelievable generational changes. They didn’t catch Him off guard. He is more than able to help us grow and endure and overcome the parenting stresses and complications so common to us all. He promises again and again in the bible, He will show up, He is not going to leave us unprepared and unable to lead and guide our kids into the path of life. It just probably won’t be in the same ways as our parents did it. We definitely will need to guard the same principles and beliefs, but in the end we will need to rely on the specific and precise instructions of God to each of us.”
“The gifts of the Master are these: freedom, life, hope, new direction, transformation, and intimacy with God. If the cross was the end of the story, we would have no hope. But the cross isn’t the end. Jesus didn’t escape from death; he conquered it and opened the way to heaven for all who will dare to believe. The truth of this moment, if we let it sweep over us, is stunning. It means Jesus really is who he claimed to be, we are really as lost as he said we are, and he really is the only way for us to intimately and spiritually connect with God again.”
Steven James, Story
(C) RoadTrip Parenting, Carol Stream IL, Tyndale)
Just as God came through on His promise to Ezekiel a thousand years later in Bethlehem, He will for you. He’s coming for each of us. Our Hope is in that fact. God’s promises have come true, are coming true and will never fail in the future.
Advent. What are you waiting for God to deliver to you that He hasn’t already ? A new job, a peaceful home, restored health… I’m confident that this Advent season you can look on those with renewed “Hope”. I can’t guarantee God will answer your requests or prayers the way you would have preferred or expected, but answer them He will. To remember that, all you have to do is consider Christmas.
Peace Out fellow RTP !