Prepare the Way of the Lord: Hope in the Good News
Advent is a season of “waiting” and expectant hope. It is a time when we look backward in thanksgiving for the gift of Jesus' first coming and forward in anticipation of his promised return. As followers of Christ, we live in this “in-between tension.” During this time of waiting life goes on as usual, and we are not immune from the disappointments embedded in this fallen world. We can lose patience in times of difficulty and become vulnerable to losing sight of the ultimate hope we have in Christ. The Apostle Paul reminded the Gentile believers in Ephesus that before they knew Christ Jesus, “You were without hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). And, as he wrote to followers in Rome, “For in this hope [the gospel] we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Rom. 8:24-25, ESV). As such, we can take great comfort in reminding ourselves today that Jesus' first coming as the long-awaited Messiah was prophesied hundreds of years before being perfectly fulfilled.
The Gospel according to Mark is perhaps the earliest recorded gospel of Jesus and yet it is often ignored amongst the gospels for meditating on the meaning of our expectant hope in Advent. Yet, Mark's opening three verses take us on a remarkable journey of tying the past promises of God to the Messianic fulfillment of Jesus and further still to the assurance of hope that he will indeed come again.
So, join us this Sunday as we dig deeper into Mark's gospel testimony (Mark 1:1-3) and the expectant hope we can rely on as we await the coming of our King!
See you then!