Advent: Day 1 – 1st Sunday

* This post is part of an Advent devotional, being posted daily during Advent 2014. For an intro to this series of posts, please read the initial post here

First Sunday of Advent: 30 November – A Glimmer of Hope

Our Context               

It’s not a new story. The world God created very good and full of light has been dragged into the mire of our sins and cloaked in a hopeless darkness. We feel the hopelessness in the weakness of our bodies. We hear it in our angry and greedy voices. We see it in the aftermath of war and in the devastation of typhoons and earthquakes. Though we are witnesses to the brokenness our sins have unleashed, we have been powerless to stop sinning. In fact, day after day and night after night, we continue to sin, multiplying the chaos that our sins provoke. We are entangled in a darkness that we cannot escape. Where is the hope that will light our way? 

Pause for a time of silent prayer.                                      

Read Luke 1:5-25 

Candle Lighting

(Light a candle) We light this candle to remember that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. In his light, we receive the hope of God’s faithfulness. Advent begins with God intruding into the mundane rhythms of our lives. Like Zechariah, we have grown accustomed to God’s silence. Even in our worship, we have adopted a pattern of going through the motions without any expectation or anticipation that God will doing something, anything unexpected. Yet, as with Zechariah’s story, God’s silence does not indicate God’s absence. On the contrary, God has been setting the stage, getting ready to do more than we can comprehend.

In Advent we remember that God has done the unexpected, releasing us from our sins in Jesus Christ. And even now, while we journey through the mundane rhythms of God’s perceived silence, the Spirit is at work, restraining our sinfulness and undoing the consequences of our sins. And soon, Jesus Christ will return, bringing with him the living hope which we now long for. Look! The light of Jesus Christ is coming!

Closing Prayer

Come quickly, Lord Jesus, that the light of your life may fill us with the living hope that our sins will be no more. Amen.

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