HOPE - Advent Week 1
“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” (Luke 2:25-26)
Hope: to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment, or to expect with confidence. (M-W)
I’m not sure when it happened, but apparently the common understanding of the word “hope” seems to have changed from the dictionary definition. I have grown up hearing hope used as an uncertain term. “I hope we win,” meant that one wishes it to be so, but acknowledges it can go either way. “I hope we get there on time,” meant that arriving on time, while it is still possible, was not likely. But according to the dictionary, hope is “desire” coupled with “expectation of obtainment or fulfillment.”
Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel. He hoped to see the Lord’s Messiah. It was Simeon’s desire to see the Messiah, and he expected that desire to be fulfilled. In this way, when Jesus was brought to the temple, Simeon’s hope was fulfilled. So to was the hope of all mankind fulfilled in the birth of Christ.
At the same time, when Jesus ascended into heaven, he left us with a hope. Angels came and stood by the Disciples after Jesus was taken up. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” This is our hope – Jesus will return.
Jesus is the fulfillment of the hope of all mankind, be we no longer have to hope for the coming of the Messiah. Jesus is also our hope for the future, as he will return to judge the world and to establish his kingdom. As it was revealed to John, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”
Let all of the children of God rest assured in the blessed hope that is in Christ Jesus.