“And the virgin shall be with child and will give birth to a son and they will call him Immanuel – God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)
Generations had waited for God to fulfill His promise and send the Savior. He must have been planning something really spectacular since He was taking so long…and He was. He planned a visit to a young girl who was open to His radical method of sending a Savior, a young girl named Mary who was full of hopes and dreams of her upcoming marriage. Then the angel appeared to her when she was alone, told her she would be pregnant before she was married and informed her that she was to mother the Messiah. Three impossible hurdles in one short sentence. Imagine the conversations she must have had:
An angel? Right.
Immaculate conception? Sure.
The Messiah? Oh yeah.
But Mary had growing in her womb the promise of God, and in her heart a hope that He would redeem her desperate situation…and He did. The Promise which was conceived in Mary’s womb is now planted in our hearts today. We light a second advent candle as a reminder of hope – hope that we, like Mary, will be outlandishly open to the will of God; that our hope will allow us to trust God’s promises – and God’s answers, so that we do not dismiss the fulfillment of our soul’s longings just because it is wrapped in swaddling clothes instead of royal robes.
What is your hope for this Christmas season?
Share your thoughts as you light the second Advent candle.