May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

This month we will begin a series of devotions about Advent. The word Advent derives from the latin word meaning coming.  The Lord is coming. It is a time of expectancy and waiting and preparaiotn for the celebration of the nativity of Jesus at Christmas.  The Advent wreath is a symbolic representation of of this preparation.  Within the advent wreath holds five candles.  The first candle would be lit today, the first day of Advent.  The fist candle is traditionally the candle of Expectation or Hope.

In order to talk about Hope in the traditional since of the word we must look back in time, in biblical time.  We must open God’s Word and take a look.  I often take it for granted my biblical knowledge.  I grew up in the church. I attend a church that encourages bible study independently and in groups.  However, I was reminded this weekend by a relative that attends an episcopal church , that not every believer is encouraged to read their own copy of the bible.   Please take the time this advent season and get your own copy of a bible.  A copy you can write in  and touch the pages.  A copy that God can speak to you through.  He wants you to have your own copy.  With that said, let’s take a look at the book of Isaiah.  Isaiah was a great prophet of the old testament. He mingled among great and powerful kings, actually outlasting four kings. The first part of the book of Isaiah speaks of harsh warnings as the country he lived in, Judah, was captured by Babylon.  The whole city was destroyed and captured.  Then in chapter 40, Isaiah begins to change his tone and speak about hope.  My bible commentary states, “a majestic message of hope and joy and light breaks in, the author of Isaiah expresses the plan as a series of wonderful reasons of hope.”

The passage I want us to concentrate on today is chapter 42:1-4.  Take a look.  Who do you think this passage is speaking about?  “Here is my servant” , “My chosen One”, “The one in whom I delight”,  ” “I will put my Spirit on Him”,  “He will bring justice to the nations”  “He will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth.” ” IN HIS law the islands will put their hope.” Did you know that these verses are repeated again in the gospel of Matthew?  Take a look at Matthew 12:18-21.  Isaiah was talking about our wonderful savior.  Our Lord, Jesus Christ and his coming in to this world.  Wow, what a message of hope for the Isaralites then and for us today.

So, many of us need a message of hope today.  We struggle with daily pain and chronic illness.  Just getting through the Christmas season can seem like a daunting task.  Who is going to  buy my gifts for my children if I can’t even get out of bed.  God’s Word teaches us not to worry.  Even God clothed the lilies of the field, right?  This advent season I want you to take to heart this lesson.  I want you to concentrate on God’s hope. The hope that Isaiah taught us.  Put your trust in Jesus Christ, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus Christ, the servant that will bring justice to this earth .

Dear Lord, we thank you for this reminder of having hope, hope in the coming of our Lord.  We thank you for this time of expectancy, this time of coming, when we prepare our hearts for the birth of our Savior.  We will put our hope in Him.  And only Him.    Amen