December 04, 2023

Advent 2023 - Hope

It's the first week of Advent! We decorated for Christmas over the weekend, and now I'm writing this with the lights of the tree shining next to me. I love doing anything by the light of the tree!

For Advent this year, I'm sharing devotions I first shared in 2017. Sometimes it makes more sense to repost something than to try and reinvent the wheel. I hope you enjoy this examination of hope, peace, joy, and love over the next few weeks.


Like so many others, I love this time of year. I love the decorations, the tree, the food and the music. More than anything, though, I love the reason we celebrate.

"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" (Isaiah 9:6).

Jesus came as a baby, born into this world to bring hope to a people who were completely hopeless. I'm not talking about the Jewish people, though they were hopeless under Roman rule at the time. Instead, I'm talking about the entire human race.

We are, after all, one people. Though we've divided ourselves according to religious difference and national borders, we are really one people and Jesus came to rescue us all.

I've been thinking about it like this: one of the little girls I babysit is named Edie. She's 18 months old and she loves to sit at my kitchen table and play. Sometimes, she wants to play with our Little People barn or one of our big Tonka trucks, but they're too big for her to get onto the table herself. She picks it up and tries to get it that high, but she can't do it, and by that point she's in such an awkward position that she can't put it down either.

That's when she starts calling out for me. "Help, help, help, help," she'll yell over and over until I come and take the toy from her and set it on the table.

We were like Edie. We had a burden too heavy for us to lift and impossible to put down. That burden, of course, was sin. Romans 3:23 says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." All. There is no one who can say they have never sinned, except Jesus. That's what makes it possible for Him to remove that burden of sin from us and set us free. Verse 24 goes on to say, "and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."
Jesus came into this world to bring hope to a people who were completely hopeless |
That is the hope that came to us as a people when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. That is the hope still offered to so many who are struggling in their sin, not knowing or not willing to accept that Jesus came to take their burden.

Without Jesus the entire human race was hopeless, without a way to escape from sin. But with Jesus? What hope we have!


  1. This year has presented us with SO many reasons to feel helpless and hopeless, but we have, and can share the hope we have! Praying that the love and light that God offers shines out through us.

  2. My heart warms when I remember the Christ story, perhaps because it evokes memories created and shared with our children when they were young - shopping, gift-wrapping, card/letter-writing, decorating, Christmas eve worship with candle-lighting and singing "Silent Night." Sigh. Though those days are long gone, and most often it's just the two of us now, I'm grateful that the story never changes. God gave us the gift of His Son, to set the world right. I long for His return.


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