May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)
One of the great reminders that our observance of Advent brings, is that we have not been left alone to patiently endure until the Lord returns for us. As Paul wrote in the verse that precedes the passage above, every word of the Scriptures was written that we may be encouraged and have hope. Perusing those scriptures we find that we not only have hope from these words, we are surrounded with like hope in our family, community and church. We are both recipients and providers of this hope, from and to other Christians. Together, we look to the flame that edges closer to His coming with each week and together, we await his second arrival.
Paul uses the scriptures to remind the reader of a promise from years past that applied to them in that day, and which remains applicable to us in our hour:
“The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in Him.” (15:12).
Jesus, the ‘Son of David’ is that root. He is the source and center of our hope. His life provides the model for our endurance and servanthood to others. Others within the church know the source of our hope. Our calling is to take that hope outside of the church and into the world, living lives that exude such joy and assurance that it sparks the spirit in others to seek out the fount of promise.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (v13)
Grace, peace and hope to you.
image Per Ola Wilberg