Third Sunday of Advent December 13, 2015
Can you see hope?
What does hope look like? Can you see it?
As John the Baptist spreads word that the Savior is coming, the news is electrifying. Crowds leave their homes and close their shops, trekking into the wilderness to hear John’s message firsthand. It is good news (Luke 3:19), news that God knows their struggles and is at last coming to save them.
Yes, there are critics, doubters, and cynics. Aren’t there always? They are quite happy with things as they are now; they are quite happy with themselves just the way they are. They feel no need for a Savior, no need to be saved from anything, thank you. As John speaks, we picture them standing back, shaking their heads, whispering their critiques. But they do nothing. And for them John offers a harsh warning (Luke 3:9, 17).
But others embrace John’s message. They already feel their need for a Savior. Hearing that the Savior is near fills them with hope—hope you can see. You see it as they respond to John’s news by opening their cupboards and closets, sharing with others in need (Luke 3:11). You see it as they halt dishonest business practices—even the ones “everybody does”—exchanging profits for integrity (Luke 3:13). You see it as they break old habits of imposing their will on others, and as they reject the pursuit of “more,” “bigger,” and “better,” and in its place find content-ment with what they already have (Luke 3:14). You see it as they step forward publicly for baptism, inviting others to help them remain accountable to the new hope they have found. For them, hope expresses itself in action. You can see the hope.
Our Savior is coming. We will meet him soon. Does hope fill our hearts? Can others see the impact of this hope on our lives? How?
David Geyer, pastor, College Hill Moravian Church, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania