Advent - Hope

When I was little, my church did not celebrate the Advent of Christ - those four weeks before Christmas. It was not until I was twelve, and we moved to New York that my church did observe Advent. Due to the fact that Advent was not a part of my childhood memories, I observe Advent with an adult perspective.

The first week for my church is the Candle of Hope or Prophecy.

The inter-testament time period (those years between the ending of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament) covers maybe two pages in a Bible - one blank sheet dividing the Old Testament from the New Testament. The Old Testament ends with the phrase: "Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse." The New Testament begins: "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ."

Those inter-testament years are a time that Christians, in general, know very little about, but this is also the time period that Hanukkah begins - for even Christ celebrated this Festival of Lights. It is good for us to focus on those prophecies concerning Christ's coming such as in Isaiah 9:6-7.

There is a saying that it is always darkest before the dawn, and indeed the inter-testament time period seems to be a very dark time period, but one thing to remember is that Christ did come to earth.

This hope isn't the wishy-washy maybe it will and maybe it won't - this is a hope firmly established on the Truth of God that He has promised and He will fulfill that promise. It is a hope based on a certain fact. That is a hope that will survive even when things seem the darkest.

So what about you? How do you focus your attention during this Advent season? Do you celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah? As we go through the Advent season remember that our hope is built upon a solid rock - Christ Himself.

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