Advent is a Journey of Hope
The Old Testament Prophet Isaiah writes “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2) I love this verse! It’s probably my favorite verse for the advent season because this verse radiates and overflows with hope! It resonates hope. It exudes hope. I love the phrase “deep darkness”. A light has shined on people walking in deep spiritual darkness. People you know need light to shine in their darkest moments of despair, hopelessness, loneliness. Where light has shined in deep darkness, lives have been changed… people have been delivered from bondage… healing power has touched broken bodies and broken relationships… hope has shined in the midst of deep inner darkness. Oh how I wish this would happen more often in our day!
The first step in coming into the light is to acknowledge the darkness around you, the darkness you find yourself in. You see, a whole lot of people don’t realize they live in deep spiritual darkness. I didn’t realize I was living that way until God’s light shined into my life. There’s a resignation that what’s happening in life is normal – the only thing to look forward to. I’m sure you know people who live without any hope that things are going to change or get better for them. Yet, hope shines brightest when the way seems dark, cloudy, hopeless. Does your world seem cloudy? Is your Christmas season already overwhelmed by any number of struggles: financial stresses, relationship problems, memories of loss of loved ones, loss of memory, commercialized expectations? A sense of hopelessness and despair will weigh down your soul. We’ve all been there at some time or another. You may be there now. But there is always hope because of Jesus!
It seems that spiritual darkness in our world is growing more ominous, more deadly. Who will rescue us except our Lord? The beauty of the journey of hope is that, in what seems to be the darkest hour, God shows up! He hasn’t forgotten you! He hasn’t abandoned you! The Spirit of God fans even the smallest spark of hope within us – hope rooted in the work of Christ to destroy the darkness of sin and death. This Advent Season, isn’t it time to step out of the darkness and into the light of hope? Pastor Randy