Sunday, November 29, 2020
Hope is the theme of the First Sunday of Advent. The prophet Isaiah told his divided nation, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2)
Israel to the north would be crushed by the Assyrians; the people were scattered. To the South, Judah would be carried away to Babylon; their Temple destroyed but Isaiah told them of the promised Messiah, “For to 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 greatness 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.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
America has faced gloomy times before. Each time we bounced back stronger than before. The Civil War killed more soldiers than WWI and WWII combined. In the aftermath, slavery was abolished and the reunited nation became the world's strongest economy. We emerged from the Great Depression and WWII as a global economic and political leader.
By the grace of God we have survived pandemics, terrorist attacks, riots, economic downturns and more but the ups and downs of America are but a flash in the pan in the history of God's work with humanity. God is in control and is moving towards an end where he will be glorified.
My hope this First Sunday of Advent echoes the words of Paul: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)