On Sunday, I had the incredible privilege to kick off our “A Vintage Christmas” series, preaching on “Hope” from Isaiah 9:1-7. If you missed the sermon you can watch it below. Also, check out our other series resources here. One of the things I love about preaching is that more often than not, I find myself preaching at myself before preaching to others. As I preached on hope, this weekend was no different.
During the evening gatherings at our Vintage Orleans location, something came to my mind as I was preaching. As I was thinking about hope, peace, joy, and love, I realized something. As humans, we all desire to have hope, peace, joy, and love in our life. If I were to meet someone who said they didn’t want those things, I would believe they were lying to me. The problem is not that we desire to have hope, peace, joy, and love in our lives. The issue comes in where we seek out those four elements. We almost always seek to find hope in hope itself. We think to ourself, “I just need to be more hopeful. If I was more hopeful about life, I would have hope.” The problem with this mentality is that there is no firm and solid foundation to find hope in. The idea of hope is not a solid or stable idea. You might even turn to people or life events and consider finding your hope in those things. The problem with placing your hope in either people or life events is that they will at some point leave you hopeless. People, even those you love and trust, will let you down. Life can take twists and turns that will leave you with little to no hope.
At the end of the day, there really is only one, true source of hope. It is found in a person. His name is Jesus. Jesus can be our hope because of who he is. He is the God-man. For over 2,000 years, we have celebrated the incarnation of the Son of God. We have and continue to celebrate that the second person of the Trinity, the Son, chose to come down to Earth, become human, and live life as we do. However, Jesus lived a very different life from us. While he was tempted as we are, he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). Because he did not sin, he remained perfect. Despite his perfect life, he was condemned to die. His death set us free from the curse of sin that we all must deal with. On the cross, Jesus defeated sin, death, and hell, erasing our sin and satisfying the wrath of God that burns hot against our sin. After he died, three days later he rose from the grave and then he ascended into heaven.
You and I can have hope because of who Jesus is. He is the God-man who came to save us and who has saved us. I’m hopeful because Jesus has come. Long ago, hundred of years prior to Jesus’s birth, prophets prophesied that he would come. God had shared with people that one day he would send a savior. Guess what…God was faithful to his promise and sent his son, Jesus. Today we await the return of Jesus. If Jesus came the first time, and provided salvation from sin, do you doubt that he will come again. If he said he would return, don’t you think he will keep his word and come again?
This Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, remember that he has come… and remember that he is coming again. You can have hope because Jesus has come and is coming again.