Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 8

Romans 15:4-13
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 
so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. 
For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed 
and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:
“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles;
    I will sing the praises of your name.”
Again, it says,
“Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.”
And again,
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles;
    let all the peoples extol him.”
And again, Isaiah says,
“The Root of Jesse will spring up,
    one who will arise to rule over the nations;
    in him the Gentiles will hope.”
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Hope.  This is a main thread during the Christmas season.  For Israel it was hope for the Messiah.  For Christians throughout the world we share hope for the return of Christ.  But there is hope in the middle as well and at Christmas we seem to think about these small hopes that we have in life.  Hope for health, hope for relationships, hope for things we need and even things we want.  Hope for love, joy, peace and happiness.  And deep inside all this hope is the realization that hope can only be fulfilled through God, because He is the God of hope. 

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