Light the Candle of Hope
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
By REV. GREG MORROW
Pastor of First Baptist Church
The Advent season begins with the lighting of the candle of hope. The metaphor of lighting a candle that represent hope is an interesting one, given that people who live in darkness feel as if they are without hope. There are many manifestations of this phenomenon within the human experience.
Some people live in the darkness of grief. Life's circumstances have intruded upon what was a pleasant daily routine. Now, with loss of a loved one the darkness of sorrow has engulfed them, and hope seems a distant light at best. Others live in the darkness of guilt. Perhaps it is the guilt of some action taken, the result of which is shame. Maybe it is the guilt of some act left undone, the result of which is regret. No matter. Guilt is a suffocating influence that snuffs out hope for many people. Still yet, there are those who live in the darkness of greed. For them, life is an unending search for more, yet the accumulation of more stuff leaves one with a suspicion that more never guarantees fulfillment, and the darkness begins to encroach little by little.
Pervasive darkness renders us without hope, but as we begin the Advent season lighting the candle of hope we are reminded, with the coming of Christ God has lifted our darkness and given us hope. First Peter, chapter two, verses nine and 10 teach us, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."
Herein is our hope, not only during the Christmas season, but throughout the year. God calls us from the darkness of grief, guilt, and greed into the wonderful light of His mercy and grace. I pray that this Advent season will find you lighting a candle of hope in your heart. Hear the word of God calling to you. Heed the word of God to leave the darkness and come into the light. Trust Christ to ease your grief, remove your guilt, and provide the fulfillment that only He can give.
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