Hope. This has been a theme in my personal reflections since my husband suddenly moved to heaven 3 months before Christmas last year. A reminder that Jesus’ very existence means even people grieving or hurting in this season – can have hope.
The biblical prophets were true champions of hope. Their resilience and faith bolsters me during the darkest times. And in this season I want more than ever to be able to share hope with others who need it.
The first candle we light on the Advent wreath is often called the “Prophet’s Candle.” In the Advent season of waiting, it’s a wonderful practice to reflect on those who held onto the hope of God’s promises – especially the anticipation of the coming Messiah.
A Traditional Activity: Remembering the Prophets
During this week, consider reading passages from the Old Testament that foretold the birth of Jesus. Isaiah and Micah both made significant prophecies that offered hope to people in ancient times. Here are a few passages to get you started:
- Isaiah 9:2-7
- Isaiah 11:1-10
- Jeremiah 33:14-17
- Micah 5:1-5
A Modern Twist: The Advent Calendar of Hope
Create an Advent calendar with a twist. For the rest of Advent, instead of daily chocolates or gifts (or maybe in addition to them), write out a different Bible verse or inspirational quote about hope for each day. Discuss the significance of each passage with your family or friends, and consider how hope plays a role in your daily lives.
A Traditional Song: “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”
“Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” is a hymn that speaks to the hope of Advent. The lyrics express the deep yearning for the arrival of the Savior and the anticipation of God’s promises being fulfilled. Sing this hymn during family devotions as a reminder of the hope we find in Christ.
A Modern Song: “His Name Shall Be” by Matt Redman
“His Name Shall Be” by Matt Redman is a modern worship song that highlights the worship inspired by hope fulfilled when Jesus was born. The lyrics focus on the prophetic names of Jesus declared by the prophet Isaiah: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. This song can help your family meditate on the immensity of God’s love in fulfilling such a long-awaited gift – the Messiah.
What are some ways you dwell in hope during this season? Share some with me in the comments.