Today begins the traditional season of Advent, a time of preparation for the celebration of the Christ Child. Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day and lasts through December 24th. Each week is marked with Scripture readings and the lighting of candles in the Advent Wreath and each week has a focus or theme to guide believers into the blessed season. I will be sharing a brief devotional thought through Deeper Roots each day through Advent; I invite you to join me as I prepare my own heart for the season.
For this first week, we will focus on “Hope.” Hope is desperately needed in our world today, and it was desperately needed for the Jewish people. The prophet Isaiah writes our key verse to the people of Judah, whom God chose to be a holy people devoted to Him, but they had rebelled and Isaiah issued warnings of God’s impending judgement. Yet interspersed in the dire warnings are words of hope. This is the message of Isaiah 9:1-7—hope—and the promise of a Messiah who will bring God’s kingdom rule to earth and with it restoration for the entire nation.
The people walked in darkness, not physical darkness as if the sun refused to shine, but spiritual darkness because of their sin and rebellion, just as our world does today. What do we hope for in the darkness? Light! And God promised the light of restoration to His people, just as He promises the light of truth for those who are trapped in the darkness of sin today.
We can hope in the light of God in this dark world because He has sent His light—the Light of the World—Jesus. This Light “shines in darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it” (John 1:5). He is “the True Light that gives light to every man” (John 1:9). On this first day of Advent, put your hope in the One who brings the Light of truth to shine forever in your heart.