I love Advent! Each week of Advent focuses on a theme from the Bible: hope, peace, joy, and love. This week is all about hope.
What is hope?
You know the feeling you had as a kid the night before Christmas? You were so excited about what you knew was just around the corner. You could call that feeling “hope.”
Hope is looking forward to something good that’s coming.
In the Old Testament, there are two Hebrew words usually translated as “hope.” The first is yakhal, which means simply “to wait for.” In the story of Noah and the ark, as the flood waters receded, Noah had to yakhal for weeks (Genesis 8:10-12). Hope is looking forward to something good that’s coming…while we wait for it to get here.
But the waiting isn’t easy, is it?
The other Hebrew word for hope is qavah. The first part – quav – means “cord” or “rope”. Qavah is that uncomfortable tension of waiting in captivity; the anticipation of release while the ropes are still wrapped tightly around you. Hope is looking forward to something good that’s coming…while we wait for it to get here…while we’re bound up and stuck.
The whole world was tied up in sin and death once. God promised something good was on the way! One day the ropes would be cut and everyone would be set free. The whole world waited and waited, bound up and stuck, looking forward to the day God kept His promise.
RESPONSE: How are you bound up and stuck right now? Take a minute to tell God about it and ask God to set you free this Christmas – this very day.