Advent: HOPE for the Messy

Isaiah 9:2-7
The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.
 You have enlarged the nation
    and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
    when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
    you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
    the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
    and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
    will be fuel for the fire.
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.
Pastor Mike Yaconelli writes–“My life is a mess. After 45 years of trying to follow Jesus. I keep losing him in the crowded busyness of my life. I know Jesus is there, somewhere, but its difficult to make him out in the haze of everyday life. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a godly person, yet when I look at the yesterday’s of my life, what I see mostly is broken, irregular path littered with mistakes and failure. I have temporary successes and isolated moments of closeness to God, but I long for the continuing presence of Jesus. I want to know God better…Most of the time, however, I feel like I am running away from Jesus into the arms of my own clutteredness…” This is where I need a savior for the rest of us…for “those of us who live in the city, have a wife or husband, 3 kids 2 cats and a washing machine that has stopped working. Who are single,, work 60 to 70 hours, have parents who wonder why we’re not married, and have friends who make much more money then we do. Those who are divorced, still trying to heal from the scars of rejection, trying to cope with the single parenting of children who don’t understand why this has happened to them.” This is the mess our savior breaks into.

While the world is bloody, messy and dark, as we prepare for Christmas, we start with hope. Hope that comes through a child. Christmas reminds us that hope is found, not in our strength, but in the power of God to bring his Son into our world of broken dreams and bitter tears.
What is something you hope for this Christmas?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we work so hard. We try to manage life. But we fail and fall short. In our dark world we need hope now more than ever. So, as we wait with great expectation for our final hope, give us a glimpse of the true light that pierces the darkness. Light within each of us this flame of hope. For it is our hope in you that will restore our lives, mend our marriages, heal our community and wipe away all tears.

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