Christmas is Coming, but Christ is Already Here

I know it’s a wee bit early for a blog about Christmas, but this one isn’t really about that. It’s about hope. Yes, I know that one of the Advent candles symbolizes hope, and really, the entire Christmas season is about hoping for God to come and help us clean up the mess we’ve made of this world.

But again, since it’s a little early to talk about Christmas and Advent, let me focus on this passage written by the author of the letter to the Hebrews:

…we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.

Hebrews 6:18b-20a (NIV)

Here is one reason why I felt like it’s an appropriate time for an article about hope: here in the U.S., we have the mid-term elections coming up on Tuesday. Don’t worry, though, this is not going to be a political rant. My prayer is that I am able, through my meager offering here, to shine the spotlight on what should be our deepest source of hope: Jesus.

Several years ago, there were bumper stickers with a candidate’s likeness on them next to the word “Hope”. There was even something resembling a halo behind his head. It was troubling and saddening because nobody should place that much hope in anyone besides Jesus. Why? Because they will let you down. And also, it was comical to see a halo drawn behind anybody’s head (I would say, “especially a politician’s head”, but that would probably seem too much like a political rant!).

It makes sense to hope that your candidates will get elected and to hope that they will make things in our country better. It may make even more sense to hope that the election is fair and honest, that it helps restore our trust in the process, and that there is no violence associated with it.

Depending on which candidates win, things in our country could get a little better or a little worse, depending on your point of view. It could certainly impact our day-to-day lives.

But here’s the thing: none of the candidates can impact our eternity. Only Jesus can do that.

And nobody can take that away from us, the assurance of our eternity.

One hundred years from now, what happens today, tomorrow, or Tuesday won’t matter to us. What will matter to us is that Jesus–our only true source of hope–has entered the inner sanctuary on our behalf. He has exchanged his righteousness for our brokenness, his purity for our sin. That is what will matter.

Don’t get me wrong–I know life can be hard. I know politicians have some power to make them harder or better. But in the long run, the really long run, it won’t matter. What will matter is that we have put our hope in Jesus.

This is why Paul instructed the church at Corinth not to worry so much about what happened in their daily struggles:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

Remember that. No matter what happens, let’s fix our eyes not on what we see and hear, but on what we can’t see. What we see on the evening news will eventually blow away in the winds of time, like autumn leaves. What we can’t see, what we put our ultimate hope in–that’s what will last. That’s what will bring peace, wholeness, and joy. That’s what will usher us into heaven.

P.S. No matter what happens, no matter which candidates win, we should pray for them and all of the leaders of our nation, state, and city, even if we didn’t vote for them. This is the instruction Paul gave to Timothy, his son in the faith, and also to all of us:

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 

1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV)

About Writing & Photography by David K. Carpenter

Photographer of Light and Life, Writer of Life as it finds me
This entry was posted in Christian, Faith and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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