Sermons

Summary: The candle of Hope is a candle we can light in Christ.

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INTRODUCTION

• SLIDE #1

• As we get close to the celebration of Christmas, I want to take you thought a series entitled, “The Candles of Advent.”

• Advent is a season observed by many Western Culture churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advent)

• The word ADVENT is a Latin word that means “COMING”, which is a translation of the Greek word PAROUSIA which means COMING.

• The celebration of ADVENT began during the 4th or 5th centuries in Spain and Gaul. Advent was believed to be a season of preparation for the Baptism of those who wanted to be Christians at the January Feast of Epiphany.

• It was not until the about the 6th Century that the Roman Christians tied Advent to the coming of Jesus. Their focus was not on the first coming (Incarnation), but rather the Second Coming!

• It was not until the Middle ages that Advent was explicitly linked to Christ’s first coming at Christmas. (http://www.christianity.com/christian-life/christmas/what-is-advent.html)

• Today the Advent season last for four Sunday’s leading up to Christmas.

• Today we begin this Advent series by looking at the Candle of Hope.

• Hope is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as, “to cherish a desire with anticipation.”

• Hope is defined by Dictionary.com as, “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.”

• Paul shows that Hope is “justifiable expectation.”

• Hope is something everyone needs to get though the tough times of life.

• During the time before Jesus was born, the nation of Israel was sorely lacking in hope, they were under the thumb of the powerful Roman government with little to no hope of escape.

• Life was hard, just the act of surviving from one day to the next was a chore. Their only HOPE was God.

• The people of the time were eagerly seeking the Messiah to come and defeat Rome and establish a throne in Jerusalem. They were looking for the glory days of King David and Solomon.

• Today, we have it much better than those awaiting the Messiah.

• When you examine the world around you, imagine the world with no hope. Imagine waking up each day with no hope.

• Life can be difficult but the level of struggle we face is not near what those folks faced or other people who live in other countries face today, nonetheless, we all need hope.

• People who are struggling need hope, struggling marriages need hope, people struggling economically need hope. People who are lost need hope.

• We all need the hope to know that there is more to this life than living and dying.

• There are many things one can choose to place their hope, but I would contend that there is only one true place in which one can place their hope.

• Today we will be in the book of Romans 15:12-13 as we examine the candle of Hope.


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