Hope to a World that is Hopeless

During the Advent season, we'll be looking at devotions written by Hispanic pastors in our denomination. Today's devotion was written by Rodrigo Cano. Rodrigo Cano is pastor of Communidad Cristiana de Grand Rapids, an RCA church plant in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Isaiah 61:1-4

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
        because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
        to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
        and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
        and the day of vengeance of our God;
        to comfort all who mourn;
to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
        to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
        the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
        the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.
they shall build up the ancient ruins,
        they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
        the devastations of many generations.

For many people, Advent is one of the most exciting times of the year. Families that are scattered come together to celebrate. The atmosphere is full of lights, songs, and festivities. And even though this is the case for many families, there are other realities that many people face. There are people who are alone, who are not able to visit or be visited by family members. There are people who are desperate, and depression comes. For these people, Advent can be a burden, a reminder that their lives don’t seem to measure up.
The prophet Isaiah has a word for people who are suffering. He prophesies about the coming of the Messiah. The anointing upon the Savior will accomplish several things. The Savior will come to bring hope to a world that is hopeless. He will bring good news to those who are sick, sad, depressed, and alone. His promise is as his name says: Emmanuel, God with us. And as he leaves this earth his promise stands, and he declares, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
In this season, let us be sure to share this good news with people who need it most. Let us share the Lord’s favor, let us comfort those who mourn, and let us celebrate that God is with us.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for coming to this earth and shining your light upon us. Help us remember the good news of the gospel, and help us have compassion for those who still need to know you. Amen.