Fourth Sunday of Advent: Choose Hope

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word.
Hebrews 1:1-3a

As we celebrate the final Sunday of Advent, as well as Christmas Eve, it is only fitting to focus on JesusEmmanuel, God With Uswho is Love.  With so much discussion in the news about the actions of the powerful, of nations, states, and politicians, let us remember our savior, who came into the world in the most vulnerable of circumstances. He came as a baby, born in the most dire of circumstances, to parents who weren’t even wed. And yet, his birth changed everything. Through him we are able to see God, because he is God.

As 2017 comes to a close many are reflecting on this past year. Let us also look towards the coming year with great expectation, the way we would with a little baby so full of opportunity and potential. Jesus, the embodiment of Love, came into this world as a baby at the complete mercy of those around him. He came to bring a message of hope, to restore peace, to give us joy, and to show us what love is. As we celebrate Christmas and the New Year,, let us do so Choosing Hope and seeking to follow Jesus’ example.

In light of the recent declarations made by the United States government, Churches for Middle East Peace seeks to Choose Hope by reaffirming our commitment to our Policy Positions, specifically to “pursue a just and durable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis in which Israelis and Palestinians realize the vision of a just peace, which illuminates human dignity and cultivates thriving relationships”; to “realize the vision of two viable states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace within secure and recognized borders”; and finally, to “promote a shared Jerusalem by Palestinians and Israelis, as well as full access to the Holy Sites of the three religious communities—Jews, Christians, and Muslims—by those who call them holy.” We invite you to join us this year, as we seek to follow Jesus.

God,

We thank you for sending your son, Jesus, into this world to bring a message of hope, to restore peace, to give us joy, and to show us what love is. As we celebrate Jesus’ birth, let us also seek to follow him in all our ways.

Amen.

This devotion was written by Molly Lorden, the Millennial Engagement Coordinator at Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP). She is also currently studying toward a Master of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary.

CMEP is very thankful for the writers who contribute Spiritual Resources. However, CMEP does not necessarily agree with all the positions of our writers, and they do not speak on CMEP’s behalf.