Advent, December 2, 2019

Hope is Personified

advent 2


“Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. . . Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God. (Ps. 146:3,5)  The probability of having your hopes fulfilled is directly dependent on the object of your hope.  Trusting in human wisdom, wealth, or superheros can result in disappointment as one generation gives way to the next.  Populist ideas are recycled in each generation, yielding to the latest trend.  Jesus is eternal; our hope is in him.

2 Peter 1:3-11 

His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature. For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins. 10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble. 11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.

Matthew 21:5-11 

“Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”


My university degree is irrelevant.   Forty years after graduation,  quantum mechanics, the superego, the population explosion, and hot pants have disappeared from common discourse.  Computers that occupied entire floors have been replaced by hand held phones that even infants can manipulate.  Cold war paranoia has been replaced by climate change hysteria, and the women’s liberation movement has been displaced by gender identity politics.  Strong leaders of the past have been forgotten, everywhere but in the history books, and few ideas last more than a year or two before they are challenged and debunked by the latest authority.  Placing our hope in human ideas and personalities will ultimately be challenged, creating cynicism as hope dissolves.

I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living,” (Matt.22:32) Jesus declared.  In so doing he made himself one with the eternal who is timeless.  Our world may change, but He remains constant.  “Who is this man?” they asked.  The crowds wanted to convert him into a political leader when he entered Jerusalem on a donkey.  But kingdoms pass away; his plan was more universal—he came to save the whole world for all time.

Our hope is in God, the maker of heaven and earth as found in Jesus Christ.  When we rely on Him to keep his word and fulfill his promises, we are accepting a living hope that does not change.  True hope is made flesh in Him.


“Jesus, we are disappointed when we trust new ideas or charismatic leaders who promise us hope for the future.  We rely on your eternal hope as found in Jesus.  Your words and the act of redemption are immovable and trustworthy.  When you promise never to leave us or forsake us, and to be with us to the end of the age, we know that it is true.  We put our trust in you.”  Amen

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Paul was a preacher and teacher until he retired in 2015. He continues to write and listen to what God is saying to him in the ordinary and extraordinary things of life. Elaine was a public school teacher and administrator until she retired in 2018. She is using her retirement to reflect on God's work in her life and to share insights with her family and friends.

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