Christmas Hope - Advent 2022
Updated: Jan 18
Traditionally, Christmas is preceded by four weeks of Advent. Advent means “coming” and is a tradition intended to help believers prepare for the celebration of Christ’s coming to this earth to die for us and rise again. It is also there to prepare us for Christ’s second “coming” when those who have chosen to follow Him are fully reconciled to Him and all things are restored.
Too many times, the true meaning of Christ’s coming on to this earth gets lost whether due to the distractions of the holiday season or due to mindlessly following the same ritual every year. Traditions are nothing other than tools created by man. They are beneficial only if they serve to teach us their deeper meaning and bring us closer to God. Too often,
believers focus all their attention on the traditions and lose sight of the intent behind them. When this happens, the traditions become self-serving and self-worshiping and their meaning is lost. With this in mind, let us look at the first week of Advent and look to God to teach us the meaning of Christmas in a way we never have seen before.
The Advent tradition begins with lighting the Prophesy candle. This first week and candle signifies hope we have from the promise God has given us that He will send us a “Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end.” – Isaiah 9:2
This sounds amazing and exciting for those who were looking towards the arrival of the Messiah. How are we to look at this over 2000 years after Christ’s life on this earth? By definition, hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. While remembering is important, what are we to put our hope in?
Many if not all can to relate very well to the fact that there are times in life that feel as though everything is collapsing around us. During these times, if feels as though there is no hope. We are in agony, confused, hating God, and miserable. While it may seem cheap, these are the best places to be in life because if we pay attention, we have the ability to grow in ways we never thought possible. We are able to see that we need help because helping ourselves, what we have always done, never works. Because of what Christ came to do 2000 years ago, everyone now has the ability to call out and accept the free gift of Salvation. We can have Hope in the promise that if we seek Him, we will find Him. If we knock, He will open the door to us.
“Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming”
— 1 Peter 1:13