It is an easy thing to say. We hope they get a new job. We hope the people that suffered during the hurricane are doing better. We hope the homeless person finds shelter and eventually a stable life.
It’s a word we throw around. Some things we really hope for (like a certain Christmas gift) and somethings we hope happens (but don’t really give it much thought).
Well, the Christian season of Advent is full of hope. In advent we wait for the savior to be born. It is a time of expectancy and patience. A time to meditate and wonder.
It’s is also a theologically deep word (for example see 1 Corinthians 13:7 or Ephesians 4:4). As Christians our hope is founded in two things. First, we anticipate the return of our Lord Jesus who will officially usher in the Kingdom of God here on earth. Second, we look forward to the resurrection of our bodies. These are not false hopes by any means. These truths are the hope of Christians past and present.
Our hope is not flippant. It should be active. By active I mean it brings (or gives) us focus. Our hope is so strong that it shapes our thoughts, our actions, and our dreams. It is a powerful hope.
However, it seems that many of us may have gotten off track.
We become anxious, nervous, and/or stressed because of the economy. We become indignant because of politics. We become frustrated and apathetic because of the lack of change in the world. We get mad because of what we see on the news.
Just for the record, as Christians our hope is not in the economy, or politics, or social causes, or anything but Jesus Christ and the gospel.
Now, that does not mean that we should not work for good in our community or spread the message of the gospel, which is our belief that Jesus is Lord over all things. But we should not get so caught up in the “ways” of this world that we lose our focus.
In 1 Corinthians 15:19 Paul writes, “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
We should be careful not to hope in the things of this world. Our hope is greater. Our hope is in a Lord who will come back and set the world right. It is our hope that we will be resurrected with this Lord on that same day. That Lord is Jesus the Christ who is coming again.
In advent we wait for the coming Lord. He came at the first Christmas and he is coming again.
Are you ready?