Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Advent of Hope

Today marks the beginning of advent, and the candle that was lit in church this morning represented hope. The first few verses of John 1 were read; it's a familiar passage, but part of it stood out to me in a way it never has before. I highlighted it below.
John 1:1-14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

It's such a simple phrase and it reads as merely the conclusion of the paragraph, which is perhaps why it has never stood out to me before. But it not just a simple sentence. It is in fact the witness that John was giving; it is the very declaration of our hope.

Our hope as Christians is entirely built on the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus, on the fact that God made a promise and fulfilled it as He does all of His promises. The birth of Jesus is the advent of our hope, which will be fulfilled in His return. I am looking forward to further reminders of that fact this Christmas season.



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