The Prophet's Candle of Hope
If you happen to watch Hallmark Christmas movies (I don’t, but I know and love people who do) or really, any kind of Christmas movie, you will learn that the consensus of why this season is important to the world at large is due to the hope we seek this time of year. The most cynical of creatures want to know in their heart of hearts that we (humanity) are not lost. It’s not all commercialism and greed. We matter to someone. Though the world is full of pain and strife, we are not broken beyond repair.
On the first Sunday of Advent, a time set apart by the church as a period of preparation, we look forward to the return of Immanuel by remembering and celebrating the first time God came near. It is a season of expectation; hope, founded on trusting a God who keeps His promises.
To kick off the celebration, we light The Prophet’s Candle and remember “a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness” (Isaiah 9:2). A prophet is someone who speaks God’s truth or reveals who God is to others. Over the course of human history, God has revealed Himself, His plan, and His heart for redemption and reconciliation through ordinary people in specific places and times. Those stories have been recorded and translated and belong to us now in what we call the Bible.
“Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. God has appointed him heir of all things and made the universe through him. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:1-3)
Each day of December, as we count down to our festivities, let’s remember what we’re celebrating. It’s not just a birthday. We are not just marking an occasion that happened once and deserves to be remembered. We are looking forward with hope. God is not finished. There is more story to tell.
You can read about our Jesse Tree Advent celebrations here and download your own free schedule of Jesse Tree/Advent Readings for 2020.