During one of my morning devotional times, I recently reflected on the following excerpt from Psalm 25:4:5 (emphasis mine) -
4 Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Advent is a time of expectation; in particular, a fervent hope that the Messiah who came forth once into our world in the form of an innocent babe will return again at the time of Christ's second coming. In our waiting, we have hope of the good things that are yet to come from our God. Hope is part of what makes Advent such a refreshing part of the Church's liturgical year—and my goodness, do we need this hope of the Messiah more than ever this Advent season!
As I reflected on the Psalmist's words and how Christ is indeed my hope—and what's more, my hope *all day long—*I began to reflect on the various names from Isaiah 9:6 that we can use to describe Jesus' ministry, thus capturing in greater detail through these names why Jesus is our hope:
6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
As I turned over each name in my mind and heart, I felt a greater connection with the Christ, the spirit of his transformative ministry, and the particular hopes that I have faith will one day be realized in our broken and messy world by the grace of God.
During this Advent season, it's my joy to share reflections on Isaiah's names for the Messiah. These reflections will be based on the book Names for the Messiah: An Advent Study by Walter Brueggemann. It's a wonderful little book, and I commend it to you if you are so included to delve deeper into this topic and the sermons you heart this Advent season.
I provide below a preview of each week's message:
It is my prayer that the worship services this Advent season structured around these names will help the hope of the Christ to become more real and tangible for you and your family.
Pastor Scott S. Himel