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  • Stephen Dishman

Day 6: Hope (on purpose)

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever. Hebrews 6:13-20

The book of Hebrews is unlike many of the letters to the early church in that it talks to the readers as if they understand “where we came from” more than the other early churches. The promises of God, the repeated failures of His people, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur* were part of their common knowledge. In the eighth and ninth chapters, the author goes into detail about how Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s covenant with Moses and takes the place of the high priest and his role in atonement. It’s an amazing explanation. Like Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Christian calendar marks the journey from Advent and Christmas to Easter. One without the other is incomplete.

Back in chapter six at the beginning of this amazing explanation, it says that the thing that anchors our very soul, that gives us a reason to keep going, that keeps us from fear of the consequences of our sin, that is present in the Holy of Holies with Jesus… is hope.

It’s more than a wish. Sometimes we talk about hope (and joy, and love, and peace) like it just happens to us, but it’s more than passively waiting. It’s an active choice. It's a gift from God that requires our participation.

An angel came to Mary and laid out God’s plan, to which she said, “yes” (Luke 1:38). Her willingness to participate in God's divine plan was the embodiment of hope. She placed her trust in God's design for her life and in return God saved the world from sin.

This Advent, as we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ, let’s embrace hope as our response to God's plan for us. Let’s hope on purpose.

* - Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of the Hebrew new year and marks the creation of Adam and Eve, the beginning of humanity’s role in God’s World.

- Yom Kippur is the “Day of Atonement” when the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies to offer a sacrifice in atonement for the sins of God’s people.

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