Advent is the season of expectant waiting and anticipation of the coming Christ. We celebrate His first appearance in the manger and are filled with the hope that stems from His promise.
“Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—yes, a new branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him - the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. He will delight in obeying the Lord, He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked. He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment. In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and the little child will lead them all. The cow will graze near the bear. The cub and the calf will lie down together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. The baby will play safely near the hole of the cobra. Yes, a little child will put its hand in the nest of deadly snakes without harm. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord. In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world.” (Isaiah 11:1-12)
We are living in a society with so much peace, prosperity, and opportunity, and yet there is a pandemic of hopelessness. So many people have lost their ability to hope, and to dream, and to envision a brighter future. So many people lack an understanding of what they should hope for and still there are others who simply feel overwhelmed with the more immediate details of daily life. Have you lost your focus on the ultimate hope of God’s grand story. Have you forgotten the promises of God to all His sons and daughters?
Do you remember Simba from the Lion King? Simba ran away in shame, discouraged, and defeated. He lies down to die in the desert but he is discovered, revived, and befriended - but he isn’t found - he is still lost. He learns a new word: Hakuna matata. It means, “no worries.” This becomes his mission statement or lack thereof. It’s like an aimless destiny. He is alive but at the same time he is dead, without hope, just surviving. He is reminded of his “position” in life by an old friend, but Simba is overwhelmed with burden and regret so he turns his back on this connection. And finally hope is restored when he reconnects with his Father, who he learns has always been with him, and tells him not to forget who he is. Hope is restored. He has rediscovered his identity and his purpose. He runs home and defeats his enemies and restores peace and balance to Pride Rock.
This Christmas I pray that your hope will be restored as you focus on the promises of God and remember your “position” as a son or daughter of the King.
What does it mean to have hope in Jesus Christ and what does that look like in someone’s life?
Do you have hope, or do you feel like someone who has lost sight of where your hope lies?
In Isaiah 11:9 it says “so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.” Spend some time as a family considering what this would look like for you and those around you.
Are you willing to share the reason for your hope with someone this Christmas?