Chuck Terrill: The Advent of Hope
In our church, on November 28, we will light the blue candle of Advent which represents Hope. The candle represents the hope of the Advent of Jesus, as foretold of the Old Testament Prophets.
Hope might be in short supply. Last week was a rough one on the national front. COVID 19, variant D, continues to be epidemic. There is the report that China has, by far, surpassed the U.S. with global nuclear missiles. Inflation is at an all-time high. An SUV barreled through the annual Waukesha Christmas parade, killing five and injuring forty. The dismal list could go on and on.
Locally, there have been several homicides, drug arrests, and fatality car accidents. Our businesses are having a difficult time recruiting employees. The ongoing medical crisis has affected many.
We are bombarded with news every day. Most of what we hear and read is bad news. It is no wonder! Paul writing to Timothy, said, “You can be sure of this: In the last day perilous times will escalate” (2 Timothy 3.1). We can all agree that there has always been some difficulty in the world. But most would agree that perilous times have escalated. Many would agree that we are now experiencing, what the Bible calls, “the last days.”
You might wonder, “Where is the hope?” I find hope in something that Jesus said regarding the last Advent: “At that time (the end of the world) many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24.10-13).
“The one who stays firm to the end will be saved.” There is great hope for those who trust Christ as Lord. Do you have hope? In the past few weeks of bad news, many people cried out to God. In hope. Perhaps, some of them for the first time. Romans 10.13 reports: ... “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
During Advent we are not waiting for Christmas. We are waiting for Christ.
I like the words to this old hymn written by Edward Mote (1834).
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus' name.
When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found:
dressed in his righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand:
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.
Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 417-847-2460.