This week we begin our advent celebration. Each week, four prior to Christmas Eve, we gather to light a candle and consider the coming of our savior. It is a wonderful time to stop in the midst of the season and truly focus on the reason for all the wonderful merriment of Christmas. So…the next four devotion entries will center on the four advent themes of Hope, Joy, Peace and Love.
I have envisioned what life would be like if we could hear my dog speaking. Hughie, our porky little Yorkshire terrier, is the embodiment of constant hope.
Early in the morning he wakes in his pen near our bedroom and soon begins his pitiful whimpering. What he is really saying as he stands on his hind legs wagging his tail feverishly is, “I hope they open their door soon. I hope they let me out of here. I hope I get a treat.”
After letting him out for his morning constitutional he scurries to the pantry door. His anticipation is obvious as he looks at you then at the pantry door. “Here it is! Here is where you get the good stuff for me…look, look in here!” and “I hope she gives me a treat AND breakfast.”
After feeding the little guy I begin to make myself a cup of coffee. I soon feel the laser like stare of his dark little eyes. He will stay by my feet for the rest of the morning. There is nothing he seems to like better than to be sitting in my lap. He loves to snuggle into the crevice created when I sit with folded legs on the couch. Again he is very clear, “oh, I hope she is going to sit down with her cup of coffee!” “I hope she lets me snuggle in her lap soon!” “I wonder when she’s gonna stop folding those clothes and let me sit on her lap?”
Every day I come home Hughie greets me. His entire body wags in energetic delight. He has high hopes. “I hope she pets me.”, “I hope she tells me I’m a good boy.”, “I hope she plays with me!”, “I hope she rewards me!”, “ I hope she sits down so I can sit in her lap!”
You don’t have to be able to hear Hughie speak to know he is full of hope. If you think about it all dogs have hope. Dogs exude hope in tail wagging enthusiasm. Their eyes convey a sense of anticipation of what is to come. This is unique to dogs. Most cats don’t have hope. Cats have assumptions.
This week we focus on the hope of Christ Jesus. I’d love to have Hughie’s intensity of hope. We celebrate the birth of Christ because his coming was the beginning of our hope. Through Him we have hope for forgiveness of sin. His life, death and resurrection give us hope for eternal life and a relationship with God. As we start the seasonal celebration of the advent of Christ let us be mindful of the hope we have in Him. Because of our savior we can snuggle into the arms of our heavenly Father and look forward to the day we will rest in His lap.
And again Isaiah says, “There shall come The Root of Jesse, and He who arises to rule over the Gentiles, In Him shall the Gentiles have Hope.” Now may the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:12-13