Week Two: December 10-16 - HOPE
WeeklY FamilY Devotion:
In the Divine Comedy, Dante sees an inscription above the doorway to Hell which reads, “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.” While our world is no Dante’s Inferno, it can sometimes feel like we live in a place with very little hope. However, Jesus came and comes to offer HOPE! The Biblical concept of hope has much to do with the concept of waiting on our God who will bring redemption. In a famous promise from God, given by way of the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah, we read: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) The Hebrew word used here is Tiqwah, and means “cord” or “hope.” When used in its verbal form, qavah, it essentially speaks to the idea of “stretching a cord tight” and metaphorically alludes to “stretching tight with expectation.” In the New Testament, we see that Jesus is the One whose coming gives us ultimate hope. For example, Peter writes: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3) In Jesus’ coming (which includes his birth, life, death, resurrection, and eventual return), our dark world has the light of hope dawn.
Jesus is for His people and wants us to have a “tightly stretched expectation” that He has & is working in our world to bring about redemption and good. Watch the video for this week from The Bible Project, and then take some time to discuss how Jesus brings you hope and how you can bring that to the neighborhood in which you live.
Daily Scripture Readings:
This second week’s readings focus on HOPE and promises about Jesus - the One who can bring hope to our neighbors and to us.
Sunday: Promise to Abraham about the ultimate hope to come: Genesis 12:3
Monday: Promise that Abraham’s seed (Isaac) is in the covenant of hope: Genesis 17:19
Tuesday: Promise to Isaac’s son, Jacob (Israel) that the promise continues: Genesis 28:14
Wednesday: Promise for Judah (one of Jacob/Israel’s sons) that a ruler who brings hope will come through his line (this is the ultimate seed of Abraham - Jesus): Genesis 49:10
Thursday: Promise to all Israel that a King will come and give hope: Jeremiah 33:14-15
Friday: Promises to Israel/world are fulfilled through Jesus: Matthew 1:1-17
Saturday: Promise of Jesus is for all people’s hope and healing: Ephesians 3:6
Prayer for the Week:
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son, Jesus Christ, came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
~ from The Book of Common Prayer
Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne
Living Advent This Week:
Below are some simple ideas for you to live HOPE this week.
Pray you that would bring peace to your neighbors/neighborhood this season.
Pray for God’s hope to come to your neighbors and their families & friends.
Consider whether your life is rooted in Jesus’ hope and promises.
Download the e-book, “5 Ways to B.L.E.S.S. Your Neighbors” by Dave Ferguson and put it into practice.