It's beginning to look a little festive here at Time Out.

My banner girls got their Santa hats on, and are ready to let the Spirit of the Season fill them with Hope, Joy, Peace and Love!

This is the first Sunday of Advent  (learn more here), and traditionally the first concept is "Expectation", or Hope.
Once again this year, I am doing the Advent writings for my home church.
A most blessed privilege!

Scripture: Isaiah 9:2,6-7, Matthew 11:18,21
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one whom I love,
in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice
to the nations.  In his name the nations will put their hope.”

The recent re-election of American President Barack Obama calls to mind the logo used in his first presidential election campaign in 2008.  The logo capitalized on the circular “O” from his name, and represented the image of the sun rising over the land – ushering forth a new day.   Certainly it was intended to evoke a new sense of hope within the nation.   An iconic picture of the man with the word HOPE beneath became the second most popular image of the election.  


Was it clear to this powerful man that the nations were losing hope in their leaders’ ability to solve the ever increasing world problems?   Global debt, environmental disasters, terrorism, an ever present threat of war; indeed it appears that the world is progressively losing hope.  A sense of hopelessness which would leave us vulnerable to the enemy’s snare.  Lose your hope, and the tendency to give up is strong; but the tendency to follow anyone promising a solution is stronger.

Yes, there are many defeats.   Yet, for the Christian, that should not mean we are Defeated.  In this world, often one uses “hope” as an expression of uncertainty.   In the Bible, hope doesn’t mean doubt.  Hope means Faith.  Though the world may be crashing down around us, we must be careful not to allow our doubt, or lack of faith -- to also lower God’s ability.   Rather, we must grow our faith up to Gods' level of ability.  For nothing is impossible for Him.  That great light is that He gave us His Son:  how could we not place our trust and Hopes in Him?

A worn path never existed; until many people walked upon it.   Hope is the path that allows us to stand firm, and see beyond the things of this world; and forward to our eternal Hope in Christ Jesus.