Hope of a Coming

December 3, 2023
Hope of a Coming

Scripture Reading:  Mark 13: 26, 27 (NIV)

“At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.”


Message:  Hope of a Coming

The nature of hope

Google’s dictionary gives two simple definitions for hope:

  1. “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen”
  2. “a feeling of trust”

Our faith is all about hope

Perhaps where we something of these definitions take shape in our lives through faith…

A feeling of expectation that there is more to come for us, that this life that we live now is not all there is to live - there is more to life!

A desire for something to happen… in our faith we have the desire for peace, the desire to connect with God, the desire to find the true meaning and purpose for life

But also trust - hope is trusting God that He is true to his word, that the promises of his will come true and that our expectations and desires that there is more to this life are not mere wishful thinking

Hope gives us strength when we endure challenges

Hope helps us to see beyond the circumstances in front of us

Hope lights up vision to see further than the obvious (Our float’s slogan: “to eternity and beyond!”)

And yes, hope brings joy - deep inner joy

Reminded that we need God

When we take the time to ponder hope today, it also brings us back to our posture before God

In the course of living our lives it easily happens that we loose track of hope in our lives

It most often happens when we become too comfortable and contempt with our lives

I am the referring to that subconscious feeling of “I have arrived” or “I have all I need”

It is a dangerous place to be, for in that mindset we develop the posture of “I don’t really need God in my life”

Is that not what we see and hear in our secular society every day?

And yet we see much hopelessness around us

We live in one of the richest and most privileged societies on the planet and yet we see mental illness, and emotional poverty all around us

We live in an era of connection with internet, video calls and zoom, yet we see people being more lonely than ever (I heard this week that they say being lonely is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day)

We live in a time of an abundance of knowledge and artificial intelligence, yet we are more confused about life than ever

We live in a world where we are awarded the freedom to express ourselves and who we are, yet there’s never been a time where ordinary people struggled so much with their identity than this time we find ourselves in

We need God in our lives far more than we care to admit

We need hope, because hopelessness is all around us

We need to resist being sucked into hopelessness by adopting a posture of hope! 

The second coming of Jesus

Throughout his ministry, and especially towards the end of it, Jesus prepared his disciples for the time that He was not going to be physically with them

A very big part of this process of preparation was the promise that He would return to this world one day

We saw that in our Scripture reading today:  “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

The return on the clouds… Great power and glory… Angels going out before Him… Involving all of the earth…?

The early believers were convinced that Jesus would return in their lifetime

Clearly the meaning of what Jesus said was something else

What we can say about these early believers, is that they lived with hope

Hope carried them through persecution and turmoil

So what did Jesus mean when He said these words - what will his return look like?

The only honest answer is: we don’t know!

How would it be possible for a man to be on the clouds coming back in such a way that whole world could see Him? (Knowing that half the planet is on the night side of the sun at any time)

We don’t know when, and we don’t know how

What we do know, is that He is coming and we also know that His coming will be glorious and joyous!

His coming is what our hope is all about!

Living with a hope of a coming

Today is the start of Advent in 2023 - the time of the year where we take part in a time of build up towards Christmas

This ritual of Advent is a practice of expecting the coming of the Light of the World

It is about a desire to feel a special connection to God when we commemorate the event of Immanuel - God with us

It is the trusting that there is more to life than what we have in front of us

The start of Advent today brings us back to the hope we have in the second coming of Christ

It is hope in times of emotional desperation

It is hope in times of loneliness

It is hope in times of uncertainty

It is hope in times of confusion

The hope of a coming that gives meaning to life.



Add your comment
Please enter your name.
Please enter a longer comment.