Advent Devotions 2017
December 5, 2017
Assurance of Things Hoped For
If we were looking for things that suppress hope, we would not have to look far. Religious and political preachers of hate are coming out of the woodwork. Terrorists, homegrown and foreign, can appear anywhere at any time and attack unsuspecting innocent people. The possibility of nuclear war is even greater. Violence against women and minorities seems to have increased. Climate change brings ever more destruction. Where is hope to be found?
Jesuit Father Luis Espinal wrote these words shortly before he was assassinated by Bolivian paramilitary forces on March 22, 1980: “We believe in history; the world is not a roll of the dice going toward chaos. A new world has begun to happen since Christ has risen…We march behind you (Christ), on the road to the future. You are with us and you are our immortality! Take away the sadness from our faces. We are not in a game of chance…You have the last word!”
Father Espinal saw his world being torn apart and his own life in danger, yet he wrote “a new world has begun to happen since Christ has risen…” This is our hope as well. We believe that our God who spoke the world into being continues to create a new world. The power of the Creator was demonstrated conclusively in the birth and resurrection of Jesus. The power of that resurrection is upon us and within us. We are a part of God’s newly created order. We are part of a kingdom that will never end.
Yet we must admit that we get a little wobbly sometimes when it comes to assurance of the things we hope for but do not see. As we pray for our country and our world, often it does not seem like those prayers are being answered. The writer of Hebrews knows that where Christ is, there is hope. Where there is hope, there is life. Our assurance is in Him, not our faithfulness, not our goodness, not our ability to make things happen. Christ is the One who gives us life and hope and purpose.
Charles Spurgeon said, “Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the windows which hope has opened.” May we be filled with that hope as we prepare to celebrate the birth of the one from whom our hope comes.
Written by Rob & Bettina Sandford
Art by Allie