Scripture: Isaiah 9:2-7

We know when we look back at the prophets during the exiles of the northern and southern kingdoms, the prophets were speaking words of hope for the people in their day.  We know that the hope of a new king was prophesied for them, and they saw this hope beginning to be fulfilled in their return from exile many years later.

We also know that this hope lived on in the people of the first century who were looking for a Redeemer, one who would deliver them from the oppression of the Roman Empire.  And we know that in the early years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, the early followers of Jesus looked back and saw this hope of the prophets fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus.

So we, too, look back to the prophets in this time of Advent, and recognize three things: that the prophets proclaimed hope for the people in their time, that the early followers of Jesus found hope fulfilled in Christ, and that we Christians, thousands of years later, are still clinging to that hope of God in our preparation for Christ to enter our lives in a new way.  And so we sing, “The hopes and fears of all the years Are met in Thee tonight.”  As we prepare for the coming of the Christ-child and for Christ to continually enter our lives, we sing out our hope in our Christmas carols, and we live out this hope in our daily lives and the acts of kindness and charity that flow in this season.

Prayer:

God of all hope, we look to You as the source of all our hope.  We pray for a deeper understanding of our Scriptures and a greater understanding of our friends in the world who also find hope differently in these scriptures of old.  We remember always that our hope and source of understanding is You.  Guide us in wisdom to be living hope in this world.  In the name of the Christ, who is coming, we pray.  Amen.

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