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Advent: Hope

The invitation of Advent is to set our hope back on Jesus.

Introduction

If you are new to Advent, it’s based on an ancient Latin word. Ad is Latin for “to , and vent for “come.” At Advent, we remember God coming to us in Jesus. We look back to Jesus’ first coming and forward to his second. And we get in touch with the felt-experience of living in the in-between.

(Read Luke 1:26-38)

Now, turn to Luke 24. From the beginning of Luke’s Gospel to the end, from a story of what happened right before Jesus’ birth, to the story of what happened right after his death.

(Read Luke 24:13-27)

Note the detail of about seven miles, why is that in the text? Well, it could be because Bethlehem is also about seven miles from Jerusalem. Bethlehem is to the South; Emmaus is to the West. It could be a literary clue from Luke that we’re about to read a bookend story and it makes us think back to chapter 1.

The use of the word “downcast” is fitting. Jesus had just died, can you imagine the disappointment and disillusionment they are feeling?

Verse 12, tells us we had hoped that he was more than just a prophet; that he was also the Messiah, that he would throw off the yoke of the oppressor, the Romans, and save us.

‘We had Hoped … that He Was the One’

Can you relate to that feeling? We had hoped that COVID-19 would not spread. We had hoped that our business would make it through. We had hoped that we would keep our job. We had hoped that our nation would come together, rather than fracture apart. We had hoped that injustice would end in our generation. We had hoped that our marriage would last. We had hoped that our child would follow Jesus. We had hoped that we would find a spouse long before now. We had hoped for Christmas ...

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John Mark Comer is the pastor for teaching and vision at Bridgetown: A Jesus Church in Portland, Oregon. He’s also the author of a new book called Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human.

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