Please join us over the next several weeks as we journey through this Advent season. We will be hearing from many of our City Church staff as well as members of the congregation as we all ponder the mysteries of this season. Today’s contribution comes from City Church member, Rose Lantz.
Our ‘Gospel-Drenched’ Hope
In Luke 1:26-31 we read, In the six month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
This passage gets me every time. This angel who stands in the presence of God is sent to deliver “Good News” to Mary. When she seems confounded by this greeting, the angel responds to her by saying, Do not be afraid, Mary. Those words spoken to Mary resonate deeply in my soul. My faith is being encouraged and strengthened as I read God’s plan unfolding in the book of Luke Ch.1:
God’s redemptive work is at hand.
Jesus, our Rescuer, is on the scene.
And, when Jesus steps onto the scene, hope is made possible.
Two years ago this December, I held my Dad’s very fragile hand and looked into his tired eyes as his body was failing him. Sitting next to him, he would shake his head side to side and tell me how much he couldn’t take the pain. With every breath he could get out, he’d ask, “How much longer?” And he would then say, “I’m scared, Mija.”
Squeezing his hands so gently, I’d lean in and tell him, “You do not have to be afraid, Dad!” Because of Jesus, we do not have to be afraid. There is hope.
As my pastor would say, it is Gospel drenched hope. It’s not wishful thinking or holding a positive thought. Real hope, Gospel drenched hope, comes from a response to God’s promises that are as real today as they ever were. The ultimate promise being the Lord Jesus Himself.
My very last conversation and my last time praying with my dad, I would share the “Gospel drenched hope message” of our Savior, coming to be born to set the people free. Jesus coming to release us from our fears and sins. The Lord Jesus Himself making the impossible possible.
Friends and family, as we journey through this Advent season may we be reminded that Jesus CAME and HE’S MADE A WAY. As we wait, may we wait with great expectation and be reassured that whatever our current situation is, whatever our future holds that we can bank on His promises.
We do not have to be afraid because our hope is secure and solid in Christ Jesus.