Reflections on Advent-Hope

Advent began this past Sunday.  For those of you not familiar with Advent–Advent is a celebration of the four weeks (especially Sundays) leading up to Christmas Day.  Each week has a different theme.  Advent is celebrated because we celebrate the birth of Christ (Christmas) and we also anticipate the Second Coming of Jesus.

Hope is the first candle lit this year for Advent.

Hope.  What a perfect topic to address.

We just witnessed a Presidential Election in November.  People had hope in their respective candidates.  People had hope that…..either man could make changes.  Save issues with the economy, welfare, etc.  People had hope.

Hope deflated.

Our hope in humans will be deflated.  People will let us down.  People will move away or change jobs and no longer work in the same office as us.  People will die or they will forget your name when you run into them at the grocery store or mall.

Where do we place our hope these days?

Jesus.

Jesus is the Truth, the Life, Wonderful Counselor.

One thing that is very beautiful and disruptive during this Christmas season—-is to do some things different.  I know people have traditions and while that is fine and dandy–we must ask why these traditions exist.  Invite Jesus into these activities.  Should I do this and why am I doing this?  Some people do things just because it is expected of them.

Be different.

Look for hope.

However– looking for hope will make you vulnerable.

Being vulnerable is perfect because this is when we are most open to being changed by Jesus.  We are exposed.  Our weaknesses are known.  We will reach out and need assistance from Jesus and fellow people on the journey.

Advent season—should be a time of renewal.

Where are you placing your hope these days?

Jesus is Bigger Than the Government

We are only a few days removed from the Presidential Election.  Many are celebrating their candidate’s win; others are upset over the results.  I will not lie–I am not happy with the results.  But I have faith.  I have faith because Jesus is bigger than the government.

When you take a look at Scripture, Jesus is consistently talking about the Kingdom of God.  Jesus is not concerned with getting all political because Jesus knows that the Kingdom he speaks of it out of this world.  Many people expecting the Messiah (Jesus) to come onto the scene and overthrow the government.  Jesus mixed things up a bit.  Sometimes Jesus would work behind the scenes and do God’s work.  In other situations, Jesus would go right to leaders (political and religious) and give them the truth.

Jesus did what was needed–not what was popular.  He did not worry about what people thought of him.  Jesus could have played the political game and rode his way around Jerusalem like a king.  But Jesus had other plans.  He knew what was needed.  He picked average people to carry out an extraordinary mission: restore humanity.  Restoring humanity would take Jesus through the wilderness, ignoring Satan, getting sold out by his own followers, and getting nailed to the cross as a criminal.

Jesus was different.

And this is why Jesus is bigger than the government—regardless of whether our President is Republican or Democrat.

Jesus wants to restore people’s hearts.  Jesus desires to give each of us a purpose in life.  We are not here by accident and we should not spend the rest of our lives taking up space.  We must move forward.

Jesus is bigger than the government because he brings authentic hope and change.  The government deals with laws.  Jesus deals with the heart, mind, and soul.  The government promises provisions for all people.  Jesus promises peace that no government, person, and society could deliver.

Jesus is bigger than the government.

Where do you put your hope these days?