Can­dle of Hope

Tri-County Vanguard - - NEWS - David Townsend

Ad­vent wreath is the can­dle of Hope. Hope is miss­ing in many places in the world to­day. Christ came to give the world hope. Hope for the man who is lost in ad­dic­tion. Hope for the young mother aban­doned by her hus­band. Hope for the sick, for the lonely, for the de­pressed. Most of all, He gave hope for a lost and dy­ing world on its way to hell.

When Longfel­low wrote his poem, which be­came the carol, I Heard the Bells on Christ­mas Day, he was writ­ing about the Amer­i­can Civil War. In one of the verses elim­i­nated from the carol ver­sion, par­tially be­cause it men­tioned can­nons fir­ing in the south, he wrote this line about it all. And with their sound, the an­thems drowned, of peace on earth, good will to men. His world was with­out hope. With­out peace, which is rep­re­sented by an­other ad­vent can­dle.

The carol O Holy Night was banned in parts of the south, be­cause of its strong anti-slav­ery sen­ti­ment. Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother, and in His name all op­pres­sion shall cease! There is hope for those en­slaved. En­slaved to sin? En­slaved to anger? En­slaved to bit­ter­ness? Christ brings Hope! A hope where there seems to be no hope. A peace that passes all un­der­stand­ing. Joy un­speak­able and full of glory, un­touched by the sur­face level ups and downs of daily life. He brings love, when we need it the most. And yes, I did sneak in all four ad­vent can­dles there. Hope Peace Joy Love.

Are you in a sit­u­a­tion which seems hope­less to­day? Christ gives hope. Hope isn’t putting on a fake smile and pre­tend­ing ev­ery­thing is fine when its not. In­stead, it is rec­og­niz­ing that things aren’t al­ways go­ing well, but re­al­iz­ing that we have a big God who is able to take care of us no mat­ter what. Now that’s hope!

This Christ­mas sea­son, let’s re­mem­ber that the baby in the manger is now seated on the right hand of the Fa­ther in Glory, and let’s place our hope in Him. Have a good Christ­mas ev­ery­body. 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

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