The Dove
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The Dove

The Promise of Hope

Advent devotions 2022

Prayer from Anglican Book of Common Prayer

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, 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.

artwork by author

Day one

Read John 1

Reflect

Advent is often a minor note in church services recognizing witnesses to the Incarnation when God became flesh. However, historically Advent focused more on the final coming of the Messiah in all his glory establishing his everlasting kingdom. What might happen to our Advent experience if we redirect our eyes to the King of Glory while still contemplating the baby in the manger?

The people of the first covenant, the direct descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, rebelled from and returned to their Creator over and over again. With every restoration, idolatry captured the nation within a generation or two. Finally, the total capitulation of God’s people to the cultures in which they lived ultimately cut them off from the Lord altogether.

We still turn away from our Creator when the pull of culture becomes strong. God’s righteousness will judge, but his mercy offers a promise of hope. Isaiah wrote, “‘With everlasting love, I will have compassion on you,’ says your Redeemer” (Isaiah 54). Jesus is the compassion of God made manifest (John 1:14), and his first coming is the invitation to reconciliation. God extended this hope to all people through the Incarnation. The first candle of Advent is the hope for all the nations: Jesus ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people” (Isaiah 55; 1 Corinthians 15; Revelation 5). Every tribe. Every language. Every culture. The Incarnation is for everyone.

The incarnation is the beginning; there is also a culmination. Jesus will come again to establish his Kingdom in glorious majesty, banishing the work of the evil one and bringing peace, justice, and adoration before the throne of God. At that time, we will sing to the hope of the nations a joyful song:

“Blessing and honor and glory and power be to the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13). This is our future. From the manger to the throne, Jesus is our hope and our future.

Pray

  • Seek the Son who is himself God
  • Rejoice that the Light made you a child of God
  • Let the hope of the nations be the cry of your heart.

Day two

Read Isaiah 55

Reflect

  • What does it mean to “go out with joy?”
  • What picture does this pericope (passage of scripture) paint for you of the glorious majesty of Jesus?

Pray

  • Seek the Lord whose ways are so much higher than yours.
  • Rejoice that the Holy One has called you his own.
  • Let the hope of the nations be the desire of your spirit.

Day three

Read Revelation 5

Reflect

  • What do the words of the songs mean for your heart and mind today?
  • What picture does this pericope paint for you of the glorious majesty of Jesus?

Pray

  • Sing the song of Revelation 5:9–10
  • Rejoice that the Lamb is worthy of power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing.
  • Let the hope of the nations be the focus of your intercession.

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Defaulting to Grace and other observations

By Stephanie Loomis: Lover of Jesus, Wife, Mom, Ama, Writer, Teacher, Photographer, Singer, Athlete, Artist...a modern Renaissance woman.