Sunday, December 13, 2015

Third Sunday of Advent: Hope


The scripture reading continued in the first chapter of Luke's Gospel.  We read of the birth of Elizabeth's son, her naming him "John."  The people were astonished, for there were no Johns in the Zechariah family.  So they asked Zechariah who took a tablet and wrote, "His name is John."  At once the man's tongue was loosed and he began praising God.

hope, n. that which is desired.
hope, v.t. believing desired outcome will occur.

"hope against hope"  hope even when the outlook is grim;  to keep pressing forward.

Hope is a "someday."

Much of the hope we understand is an Old Testament type of hope-- "someday."  Advent is all about this someday hope.

Hope in someday is not wrong, but it is not complete, either.
It focuses on the future, does not impact what occurs today.

Jesus brings hope not only for someday, but for today.
We need to have our eyes open to what God is doing right now.

What Jesus gives is completely foreign to every other religion.  He gives eternity within us right now.

Jesus came to reconcile us with God.  
We are the ambassadors of the reconciliation.  We are to offer it to the world.
As Christ is the hope of the world, we are to bring that hope to the world.
The task John was given is passed on to us.

When did you last ask God to fill you with the presence of his Holy Spirit?

Hope is a glimpse of eternity in us.  Hope for someday is true, but it is already conceived within us.

  "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  Romans 15:13 (NRSV)

How can I have hope for today, not just for someday?
The Holy Spirit is the key, the witness of the Holy Spirit in your heart and life.
The Hope is in accordance with the Holy Spirit living within you.

God is working in you and through you in this current moment! 

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning


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