Main Text: Romans 15:4-13 (Isaiah 11:1-10; Matthew 3:1-12)

Advent speaks of waiting, but this waiting is not standing still. As we await and prepare for the coming of Christ and a new beginning, how are we to be found. Paul tells us to abound in hope. Hope is not a stagnant feeling but a forward looking vision. Hope sees a future that ones eyes can’t see. Hope encourages a journey toward a future that is uncertain. Hope, connected with faith and love, allows us to move forward in holy anticipation of meeting Christ on the journey. In the Gospel reading, John the Baptist is calling the people of God to a journey. He is making the path straight for the coming of Christ, but he is also pointing the people toward the Christ. Isaiah is pointing ahead to the hope we now know in Christ. It is that hope that is to lead us. In this time of preparation for a new ministry relationship, it is time for the people of God to wake up, put on the armor of light and move forward to greet this new time abounding in hope.