And now we come to the end of another Advent series. As we wrap up this collection of devotionals on HOPE, I challenge you to look at the host of other verses in Scripture that mention the topic of hope.
As you all know by now, last August, my husband Gene contracted the coronavirus and went into the hospital on the day of our 46th wedding anniversary. As the EMTs bundled him on to a gurney and began pushing him out the door, none of us realized that was the last time I would see him alive. Thankfully, we both had already said we loved each other. There were no regrets over things said or left unsaid.
Three weeks after entering the hospital, Gene died. This year, he will celebrate his first Christmas in heaven. What a climax to a life lived well! And because we both had hope of forgiveness and eternal life in heaven, I know we will meet again.
Proverbs 11:7 is blunt when it states that “the hopes of the wicked die with them for they rely on their own feeble strength.” Another passage, Isaiah 38:18,19, tells us, “The dead cannot praise you . . . Those that go down to destruction can no longer hope in your faithfulness. Only the living can praise you as I do today. Each generation can make known your faithfulness to the next.”
Tomorrow we welcome the Babe of Bethlehem, the HOPE of all the nations. Though my husband has already moved on to heaven, we who remain alive still have a responsibility. As you celebrate Christmas and open gifts, don’t forget to pass on the greatest gift to the next generation…the gift of HOPE found in Jesus Christ!
(Join me here again next year for another Advent and a new theme!)