The Hope Candle: Hope of Salvation
“What is hope? Some equate it as a fanciful wish.
But the word explodes with confidence to believe in something greater than ourselves,
and it is not found in science, medicine, government, or technology.” – Billy Graham
The first Sunday of Advent is about Hope, and specifically the Hope of Salvation.
The candle lit on this Sunday is sometimes called “the Prophecy Candle” because of how the prophets spoke of the coming of the Christ child, the one who would take away the sins of the world.
In Isaiah 64, we see more than a glimpse of this Hope at work. The prophet Isaiah called out to God, knowing that God was fully capable to bring salvation to the people of Israel and to bless all nations. Isaiah recounted the creation of the world and the exodus from Egypt. But looking forward, Isaiah could also see a future hope that meant salvation not just from the oppression of governments, but salvation from sin and death.
In this same spirit of Hope, the Hope candle is lit to remind us to be alert and to watch for Christ’s return.
Lord, as we begin this celebration of the Advent season, we thank you for the careful thought and planning that you put into the salvation of your people. We thank you for the gift of hope found in Jesus. Through the reminders of your promises and the words of the prophets, you gave your people hope that salvation would come. This salvation would be from all the evils of this world, and from the punishment our sins deserve. Please help us to continue to trust in your careful planning as we live our lives. We pray this in Jesus’ name, and for your glory. Amen.
Ideas for Activities:
1. As a family, make a list of prayers for the coming year. What are some things you’d like to see happen? What are some concerns?
2. As a family, name three people who need encouragement this week. What is one thing you can do for each of them to encourage them?