Where is Your Hope?
Isaiah 40: 3-5, 31.
Listen! He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear a road for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. And then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see the salvation sent from God. The Lord has spoken!”
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Today, several volunteers spent hours decorating our beautiful church facility for the Advent/Christmas season. When they were done and all the lights worked and the wreaths sparkled, one lady commented, “There, we’re done for this season.” One of our men said, “Too bad the season is so short!”
This Sunday, people all over the world will light the first candle in the Advent wreath, the candle of Hope. Today, perhaps more than ever, the world needs something to give them hope. The hope they need can only be found in one place, one person, Jesus. So Isaiah prophesies to prepare the way for the Lord’s coming. And John the Baptist fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy as he preached that people should be baptized to show they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.
When John the Baptist’s work was done and he was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee with the same message, announcing that people should repent of their sins and believe the Good News that the Kingdom of God was near.
This is the hope of the world. The message has not changed since Isaiah prophesied it, John the Baptist preached it, and Jesus brought it to earth as a babe in a manger.
In breathing in, Isaiah prophesied the hope of a coming salvation. In breathing out, he offers the hope of that same salvation: Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings, like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.
As you approach this first Sunday in Advent, where is your hope? Have you prepared the way for the coming of the Lord in your life? I trust this season you will realize the hope of salvation so that you will run and not be weary, walk and not faint. I trust for you, this season will not be too short but will last a lifetime.
Father, in the usual hustle and bustle of this season of the year, help us to breathe deeply of the hope of your salvation. Help us to run and not be weary. Help us to walk and not faint, so that we have the time to show the love of Jesus to our neighbor, to our world. For your glory. Amen.