Advent Week 1: Rejoice in Hope
By Evelyn Reams | November 27, 2022 | Return to Blog
Each week of advent traditionally focuses on a single theme, leading up to Christmas, when the birth of Christ is celebrated. This week's theme is hope, as we reflect on the hope of those waiting for the Messiah and the hope that God sustains in us today.
The Coming King
One of the most quoted prophecies written about Israel’s hoped-for Messiah is found in Isaiah 9:2, which reads: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” The very next verse adds a beautiful picture of how the people will rejoice when this hope is fulfilled.
“They rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder” (Isaiah 9:3)
Harvest time only comes during a specific season, which is unique to each crop. During the growing season, farmers prepare, plant, labor, and then wait for the plants to mature. At harvest time, they rejoice in the blessings that God has given. Likewise, in our lives, seasons of seeing a harvest fulfilled don’t happen every day. There are long stretches of time when hope lies in God’s plan, not in what we can see with our own eyes. In times of waiting, we can remember how he has provided in the past. God does not promise that it will be summer all of the time, but we can rejoice that the promises he gave us in the summer will sustain us through the winter.
A Tree of Life
Proverbs 13:12 says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” In times of blessing, we can rejoice in God, who has provided the harvest and made that tree of life grow. During a difficult season, hope may be only a seed resting under the frozen earth, waiting patiently for the light and warmth to make it grow. No matter the situation, God invites us to place our hope in Him alone. Through his divine help and sustenance this Advent and throughout the year, we can “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:2).