Advent: December 13th – A Greater Hope

By: Pastor Jarren Rogers

“People who believe in the resurrection, in God making a whole new world in which everything will be set right at last, are unstoppably motivated to work for that new world in the present.” – N.T. Wright

One of my new favorite songs is “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding. It has become one of my favorites, not only because it’s a great song, but also because of the story behind it.

You see, Redding recorded this song just two days before he died in a plane crash. The song was produced after his death and was the first posthumous number-one record on the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts. It is also number 26 on the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

Even after Redding’s death, his music went on to impact countless people. For Redding, death wasn’t the end of his musical career, it was only the beginning.

I think that so often people today see death as the end.  You live a short life and then it’s over in an instant.

But I think that God has something to say to that. We are invited to be a part of a reality that believes that death is only the beginning of eternal paradise. We believe that the end of our lives holds a greater hope that isn’t seen by the world.

We are able to live our lives now in such a way that God’s Kingdom is able to break into the present as a foretaste of the Kingdom that will reign for eternity when He returns. This Kingdom came with a small innocent baby that was born to a virgin, who grew into a man that would be crucified for the sins of all. His resurrection paved the way for all of His followers to be resurrected into New Life.

We have a hope for the future because Jesus came as a baby in a manger.

This hope brings meaning and truth to our lives. We live as followers of the resurrected Christ.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2).

Our job on earth is to spread the Kingdom life everywhere we go. We are called to share the love of Christ and live as if we are already in Heaven with our Father.

This Christmas season, look forward in hope and anticipation to the celebration of Jesus’s birth and also to His coming again. We live each and every day with the hope of spending eternity with Him as we weave His resurrection and reconciliation into our lives.

Parents: Explain to your children the hope that we, as Christians, have to spend eternity with God.

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