The Voice of Isaiah: Hope

Read: Isaiah 64

Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence. (v. 1)

Hope is central to the season of Advent when Christians celebrate the first coming of Christ at his incarnation. A wreath of evergreens is present in many churches this month as a symbol of life, growth, and the eternity of God. Candles are lit, serving as a light of hope as we move toward Christmas. Through the many voices of Advent, we hear a word of hope: God will dwell with us. God will save us.

Isaiah takes us back 2,500 years to the Jewish people in exile. Thousands of the brightest and best have been deported to Babylon. Their homeland is a distant memory. The community is politically without power. Its worship life is without meaning. Still, they hope that God will intervene.

Advent is a time of incredible hope. While we wait for Christmas this year, we also wait for the day when Christ will come for the final time, and the kingdom of this world will become “the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” (Rev. 11:15). God will save his people, set the captives free, and vanquish every last trace of evil “far as the curse is found.” While we hope, we wait, but with a difference. For our hope knows Bethlehem and the God who became flesh. Our hope knows that God has come and will continue to come to redeem and give life. —Ken Eriks

Prayer: Lord God, may our highest hopes be in Christ, the hope of the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.