One of the hallmarks of the Advent season is the lighting of the candles. There are traditionally 5 candles that are lit during Advent and even though there are variations amongst the tradition, commonly the first candle represents hope. The liturgy of the first candle focuses on two patriarchs of our faith.
The stories of Abraham and David hold in them the hopes of the advent people. With Abraham, God promises to be faithful in making a people from the line of Abraham. Follow that line through and we get to David, from whom the messiah would come. Therefore, we can trace the promise of the salvation of the world all the way back to God’s promise of faithfulness to Abraham.
Here we see God playing the long game. It took 41 generations to get from Abraham to Jesus. 41 generations for the promise of “and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through you” to be fulfilled. In God’s time, the promise for the blessing of the nations became fulfilled in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. With the fulfillment of this promise, we can trust God to make good on other promises found in scripture.
VERSE: Psalm 130:5-8 - I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
Prayer: O God of hope, you have proved your faithfulness to Abraham in the gift of Christ. In that, we have a reason to believe in the promises yet to come concerning the return of Christ and the establishment of your kingdom, and the renewal of all things. We thank you for the gift of hope.