The Reason to Hope

“O Come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel.”

This song echoed through me all day yesterday.

I thought of the Jewish people waiting and waiting for their Messiah.

Of all creation groaning since the Fall for its redemption.

Of the people of the world suffering under the weight of sin.

The Old Testament sacrifices were imperfect. The blood of a lamb could never make one white as snow. God needed to send the One who would finally bruise the serpent’s head once and for all.

I wondered what it would’ve been like to live at the the end of that 400 years of silence and believe perhaps God had forgotten His promises of old. Perhaps the Promised One would never come. Perhaps the Child spoken of in Isaiah – the One who was supposed to bring peace, justice, and righteousness – was only a myth to give the people comfort as they languished in exile.

How many times had they shook their  fists at the sky?

How much longer?

How many times had they wept bitter tears of despair?

How much longer?

How many times had they cried out?

How much longer?

How many more deaths, how much more violence, how much more suffering, how much more pain?

How much longer before the Rod of Jesse and the Root of David would appear?

I offered a little prayer of gratitude, thankful that I lived in a time when Emmanuel had already come and His Presence was among us.

And then I saw the news.

Another shooting.

More deaths.

More violence, more suffering, more pain.

And I wanted to shake my fist at the sky and shout. Wanted to weep with despair. Wanted to cry out.

How much longer?

In this Advent season, how can we light the candle of hope when the only report is a bad report? It seems every time we turn around, there’s another tragedy making headlines.

And yet, through it all, hope lives on.

I had to remind myself again of what Isaiah foretold. This is the event that all of our hope is pinned upon.IUVI2VVDXJ

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and His glory will be seen upon you.”                                                           Isaiah 60:1 & 2

Some think this thick darkness is now – present tense – and that there is nothing we can do until that time somewhere in the distant future when the Lord finally returns and all evil is stopped.

That the world is a bad place – look at Paris, look at Beirut, look at San Bernardino etc. etc. – but some day heaven will be good. That things are only getting worse.

These words drip fear into our souls. They make us want to shake our fists, cry out, and weep with despair. These words don’t offer hope. They put the Kingdom of Heaven too far away.

But the overwhelming promise throughout the Scripture is that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, and that it’s expanding.

That it is, in fact, growing to fill the whole earth.

That the Rock that is Christ HAS – present tense – smashed the demonic realm, and is becoming a great mountain, a kingdom that shall never be destroyed. This kingdom, foretold by Daniel’s interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, broke to pieces the powers of this world, and will stand forever.

“…the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed…” Daniel 2:44

That the Church has been established on this Rock and the gates of hell shall not overcome it.

That Christ conquered sin and death and triumphed over the evil powers of this world – Colossians tells us He put them to open shame.

Not in the distant future. This is happening, and it’s happening now.

This is the good news and this is the reason to hope.

Be blessed,

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54493-161-F48F0C00E8ED505A9575E5C8794A17DF

 

 

A beautiful rendition of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel by Sarah Reeves. Listen and remember that our Emmanuel HAS come.

2 thoughts on “The Reason to Hope

  1. That’s so crazy–this song (not that version though) has really hit my heart this year as well. He has come, and He is coming! Thank you for sharing this reminder of the hope we already have ;]

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s