Advent Sunday 1: God's people -The Candle of hope
God choosing to reach out to Noah and save him and his family as a remnant, making a covenant with all flesh.
"I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth." God said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth." And God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth."
God choosing to reach out to Abram and make a covenant with him, to bless him and all nations.
Genesis 12:1-4 "Now the LORD said to Abram, 'Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.' So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him."
God choosing to reach out to Moses and deliver his people from Pharaoh and Egyptian slavery.
Exodus 3:6-9 "He said also, 'I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. The LORD said, 'I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.'"
God reaching out to man in spite of the gulf created by man’s sin. Jesus came so that anyone who believes will become part of God’s people.
John 3:14-17 "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."
Seeing what God has done in the past, reaching out again and again to mankind, and seeing that he offered himself to us in the person of Christ, we have hope. We have hope for eternal life beginning now and stretching to eternity. We have hope for a restored relationship with God. We have hope for healing in our lives and relationships. Christ came to bring hope and healing in a covenant relationship not just for one family or one nation, but for all who believe.