Freedom With Hope
You can watch this week’s sermon right here.
We are in the first week of advent, and Pastor Shawn led us through a message of hope. But what is advent, exactly? Advent is one of the seasons that many churches celebrate in the church calendar. It is a month to anticipate and prepare for our celebration of the birth of the Messiah, Jesus! Advent is a version of the Latin word for “coming.” We are preparing for the coming of Jesus — born as a baby long ago! During advent, people often reflect on when Jesus was born as a baby, but also look forward to the hope of when Jesus returns someday. Oftentimes, churches focus each week on a different theme of hope, love, joy and peace.
If you’re interested in celebrating advent with your family this year, all you need is to do a quick Google search! You can find lots of info on the themes, Scripture readings, and ways to celebrate and anticipate Jesus’ birth and His second coming. If you’re looking for a good book to read as a family this advent season, I highly recommend John Blase’s “Touching Wonder.” It is a beautiful book about the Christmas story and you can order it from Amazon here.
Pastor Shawn talked about hope today as he led us through 1 Peter 1. In this chapter, Peter reminds his listeners that God has given us a living hope, no matter what is going on in our lives. If things are temporarily good, we have hope. If we are temporarily suffering, we have hope.
I love the reminder that our God is a God of hope. This is what He gave us when He sent His Son into the world. He showed us that He had not forgotten us. He showed us that the plan of redemption He had been working on for so long was going to be fulfilled.
And what’s incredibly powerful is that in the here and now, we have hope. We are not just waiting for someday when God returns and restores all things. Yes, we hope for that, but we also know that right now, Jesus has begun to make all things new. When Jesus died and rose again, He put God’s restoration in motion. So for those of us who are Christians, we walk in that restoration and work with the Lord who is redeeming. We bring hope to others. We, as disciples of Jesus, have the honour of partnering with Him as He works good out of every situation.
So, this week, dwell in the hopeful promises of God and bring that encouragement to others!