December 02, 2017

In Him the Gentiles Will Hope

Romans 15:7-13

The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.

—  Romans 15:12

The season of Advent is about hope—and not just hope for a better day or an end to suffering, but also hope that our human existence has meaning and possibility beyond our present situation. This is hope in God, who makes things new and with whom “all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

God’s people wanted a mighty Messiah to come and change their oppressive circumstances. They were deeply disappointed when that didn’t happen. But that was a short-sighted view of hope. Our hope cannot be in circumstances, no matter how badly we want them to change. God’s people experience oppressive circumstances in the same ways that others do. They get sick, they are victims of violence, and they get killed in accidents, in war, and, in some parts of the world, by hunger.

If our hope is only in a change of circumstances, we will always be disappointed. That is why we hope in God, who has continually, across the span of human history, revealed himself as a God of newness, redemption, and transformation. He is a God of possibilities who sees far beyond what we can think or even imagine.

This amazing God sent a Savior not just for the people of Israel but also for the Gentiles. He sent his Son to save the world—and that includes you and me.

In whom do you hope?

O Root of Jesse, during this season of Advent, draw us to you, give birth to hope in us, and show us how you can make all things new. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Thea Leunk

Thea Nyhoff Leunk has been a high school English teacher, a director of Christian education, a pastor of discipleship, and a regional coach for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is currently the senior pastor at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thea has also written courses for teens and young adults on world religions, Christian faith traditions, and science and the Bible. She and her husband have three adult children.

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