Is it Make Believe? Or Hope.
There is something truly remarkable about this time of year called Advent. The word Advent means “coming”. For most of us, this time is full of planning and preparing to celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus, Emmanuel, God With Us, our Savior who came to earth as a baby so many years ago.
But there’s another side, one we can’t forget. The “Coming” or Advent Season asks us to make believe for four weeks, for those of us who know Jesus has come already, to imagine a world without Jesus, without His life that shows us how to live, His death that saved us from sin, His resurrection that gives us HOPE every single day.
We’re asked to say, “what would this world…my life…be like without Him?”
Would there be hope for the broken heart?
Would there be freedom for those who are in chains?
Would there be light for those who are prisoners to their sins?
Would there be comfort for the mourner or joy for the miserable?
What would life be like if Jesus never came?
We light this candle on the first Sunday of Advent in Hope for the great reversal of all these things. And as this candle is lit we say together the words of the prophet Isaiah, who DID live in a world without Jesus.
(light first purple candle…)
From Isaiah 61.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
Because the Lord has anounted me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted.
To proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners,
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour,
To comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion –
To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
And a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
Rejoice! Our Hope is in the Lord!
O Come! O Come Emmanuel!