Daily Devotion - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

This is the first week of the season of Advent.  Throughout the season of Advent we'll be focusing on what it means to be full of expectation and anticipation during this blessed time of year.  We'll also be lifting up the various weekly themes of Advent, corresponding to the lighting of the candles on the Advent wreath.  This week our theme is "Hope."  

In 2011, Harold Camping, a pastor, evangelist and founder of Family Radio, predicted that Jesus would return on May 21, 2011.  Camping further elaborated that all those who were true Christians would be snatched away at that moment in what has come to be known in Christians circles as "The Rapture."   

Camping had over 150 markets broadcasting Family Radio.  Over the years he'd made more than a few bold predictions about the return of Jesus, none of which had panned out, but all of which had resulted in huge donations for his ministries.   

When May 21st came and went without an incident, Camping doubled down and claimed that what happened on May 21st was just a spiritual reformation, the actual event was to happen on October 21, 2011.  It didn't of course.  Around this time, Camping suffered a stroke and never returned to radio, or to his ministry, which lost much of its assets.  

Before he died in December of 2013, Camping finally admitted that all of his predictions had been "sinful," and that it was foolishness to think that anyone could know the mind of God, or predict when Jesus will return to set things right.  

Philip E. Cambel writes, "To be ready for the 'coming of our Lord Jesus' is a faithful way of living not dependent on predictions as to when."  

What is lacking in your faith that needs to be restored in this Advent season of waiting and preparation?  Is it a sense of wonder?  A childlike trust?  The ability to concede control to God?  Or maybe it's faith itself that needs to be restored?

During the season of Advent, many of the passages of Scripture that we read, the songs that we sing and the longings that we experience are centered around God redeeming the world through the gift of his Son.  

We celebrate the arrival of the Christ child this time of year as a sign and symbol that we must be ready and watchful for the arrival of the kingdom of God all around us now.  And we can be filled with blessed hope for how God's kingdom is going to transform our tomorrows.  

May the God of hope, give you every good gift that you need to strengthen your faith during this blessed season of waiting.  May you be filled with expectation, and longing to see God's kingdom breaking through now and filled with hope for what is to come tomorrow.  Amen.  


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