Summary: Week one of advent starts with the message that in the birth of Christ, in his life, death, and resurrection--Hope Enters the Word & As it was then it remains today "Hope is on the Way"
Introduction: If I may indulge you with a quick grammar lesson this morning, I would like to look at the dictionary definition of the word hope. I want to draw your attention to what this word means when it is used as a noun instead of a verb. I need you to go all the way back to elementary school when you learned that a noun is a person, place, or thing. A verb is the part of speech in most languages that expresses existence, action, or occurrence. When I use the word hope as a verb my sentence will sound something to this effect: I hope this is not a rough winter. Or I might say, I hope you are enjoying your Sunday morning grammar lesson right now. When I use the word hope as a noun, my sentence may sound something like this: The chemotherapy was her last her last hope for a cure. Let me give you one more example using the word hope as a noun: There is no hope that Pastor John’s piano playing will get any better. No never mind, I don’t like that one. Here’s one I like. In fact I will make this statement my sermon title today, using the word hope as a noun, I want the people of Lighthouse Fellowship to know, I want everyone on First Avenue and everyone in Red Lion to know, I want all of you watching our Higher Ground Telecast to know: Hope is on the way! This morning as we celebrate the first Sunday in the advent season, as we light this purple candle symbolizing Jesus Christ our Hope, let us all look forward to this Christmas Season mindful of the truth that Christ is our Hope.
1. People need hope during times of darkness—That hope is Christ. Christ was the hope of a world that sat is darkness for many years without hearing the voice of God. At his birth hope came into the world.
Are you aware of everything that took place in Israel during those silent years between the old Testament and new Testament? The blessings of Isaiah 60 are that a world that sat is darkness without hope will find hope. That hope was to be found in Jesus Christ.
2. Throughout his ministry Jesus Christ, brought hope wherever he traveled. He brought hope to the aged temple watchers when presented at 8 days old (Luke 2); He brought hope to the woman at the well (John 4); He brought hope to maniac of Gadera when he cast out the demons who feld to the swine (Matt 8); He brought hope to Mary and Martha when he raised Lazarus from the dead (John 10).
3. He is our Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13). We know that Jesus Christ is coming again.
4. Hope is a temporary need of the soul (1Corinthians 13:13). The reason love is the greater than faith is because on heavens sure our faith journey will end and our faith will be sight. Just as faith is a temporary need of the soul, so it is with hope. On the day that we stand before Jesus Christ and see him face to face we will have no need to hope, we will then know him even as he now knows us. We will stand before the hope of all mankind and he will no longer be our hope, he will be our intimate friend and brother, our Lord and Savior, the one who gave his life so that we might live eternally.
Conclusion: I pray that the title of this morning sermon will be your rallying cry this holiday season to everyone you come in contact that seems to have lost hope. Hope is on the way! Psychologists tell us that the Christmas season can be one of the most stressful times of the year. I doubt we really needed a psychologist to tell us that. More depression diagnoses are made in the holiday season than any other time of the year. Are you having a blue Christmas as the song writer said once? Hope is on the way! Take that message to the single mother who cries her self to sleep at night praying the God will take care of her and her children. Hope is on the way! To the stressed our father who is trying so hard to provide for his family we have a message to proclaim: Hope is on the way! To the lonely widow who celebrates each Christmas after saying goodbye to her dearest on earth: Hope is on the way! When the night seems too long and you awake to a dreary day, don’t lose hope, Hope is on the way! If you are fighting a battle of fear and it seems that God is silent, just hold on, Hope is on the way. When your heart is broken in two and your standing in the rubble of your life, God’s word says hold on my child your weekping only lasts for a night--joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Hope is on the way! Will you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your hope this morning? He is the only true object of hope. Hope is on the way! Have you made Jesus Christ your personal savior?