I looked up at the night sky. I was alone in a strange country without friends and without a place to call home. I was hungry and tired but more than anything I was empty. I felt abandoned by everyone including God. My life seemed to be without hope. The coldness of the night made me shiver and I clutched my coat around me. In my pocket I felt the small Bible I carried with me. It was worn and tattered, kind of like my life right now. My fingers wrapped around the Bible and then I remembered. I remembered what God had promised so long ago.
The promise was from Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.
I remembered that God has promised to deliver me from a time darkness. In the midst of darkness God has me promised light. He has promised me a hope that is an everlasting hope.
Advent is marked by a spirit of expectation, anticipation, preparation and longing. There is a yearning for deliverance from the evils of the world, first expressed by Israelite slaves in Egypt as they cried out from their bitter oppression. It is the cry of those who have experienced the tyranny of injustice in a world under the curse of sin, and yet who have hope of deliverance by a God who has heard the cries of oppressed slaves and brought deliverance!
It is that hope, however faint at times, and that God, however distant He sometimes seems, which brings to the world the anticipation of a King who will rule with truth and justice and righteousness over His people and in His creation. It is that hope that once anticipated, and now anticipates anew, the reign of an Anointed One, a Messiah, who will bring peace and justice and righteousness to the world.