The first candle of Advent signifies HOPE. As we light the candle of hope we are reminded of the faith of our ancestral fathers and mothers of the faith – the ancient patriarchs. About 4000 years ago God called Abram from the land of Iraq and said, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).
Abram heard the call and responded in faith. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for; the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going… for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:8-10).
The blessing of Abraham is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. In Christ all the families of the earth may be blessed. Like Abraham we journey as strangers in a foreign land. Like Abraham we hope for that which we cannot see. We hope for the healing of humanity. We hope for the resurrection from the dead and eternal life. We eagerly await the blessed hope – the appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Like Abraham we hope for a city – the New Jerusalem, a new heavens and a new earth.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of Man, we eagerly await your appearing in power and glory. We pray that you will give us the strength to rejoice in hope as we persevere in tribulation so that we may be witnesses to your gospel in this present age as we hope for the age to come. Amen.
Written By: Pastor Dan Tomberlin @danieltomberlin.net