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A Thrill of Hope

Here at UCA we are joining millions of our friends across the world in celebrating Advent. If you talk to our pal Christian we will explain with deep conviction that Advent is when we practice waiting with hope. We having been walking daily through the Old Testament remembering that the curse is pervasive. That the family of Jesus is a broken one, full of sin and evil. That we are broken and in desperate need. We are realizing how weary the world really is under the weight of sin…and as we wait we long for that thrill of hope, that faint baby cry in the darkness, the moment when the weary world begins to rejoice.

This season reminds us so clearly that God makes Himself known to any heart who longs to know him, regardless of how big that heart is. Listening to kids pray audacious prayers and give thanks to their favorite superhero, Jesus, is humbling to say the least. Somedays I wish we had Go-Pro’s strapped to every kid so we could try to capture the beauty of it all. I know it would be futile, how could any human begin to capture the beauty of the Holy Spirit making Himself known? So, we asked James to help us write this blog, to give you some insight into this Advent season. Here’s what He wanted you to know:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Because there was nothing so He created 2 people Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve knew that God said not to eat the fruit but the snake said to eat it because it would make them happy and powerful like God. But Eve was so confused cause she just wanted to be happy, so she ate the fruit. Then they tried to hid from God but God said, “where are you I want to be with you.” God wanted to be with them but because they ate the fruit they got kicked out of the Garden. It got sad because then people started hating and it started to get like it was in Nineveh.

So then Noah was building a boat because the people were being bad so God told him to build a boat to get all the animals in it and his family. Then it started raining and all the animals were safe. When everyone woke up and there was a rainbow and it was for God’s promise that He would never destroy the world again. The rainbow looks like a bow and arrow and the arrow was pointing to Jesus. Because He was gonna die on the cross so we won’t have to die and He took our sins.

Then Joseph daddy bought him a nice cool jacket but the brothers got grandma and grandpa jackets. So they took Joseph’s jacket and killed an animal and put blood all over and made him be a slave. Then when he was a slave he was doing good but this lady tried to lie on him and he had to go to jail. He kept believing God in jail and he was knowing everybody’s dream. He knew the kings dream so he got to help be the king.

Then there was Moses. Pharaoh was a bad guy and wanted to kill the babies but Moses’ momma but him in the river and the Pharaoh lady found him in the river and so Moses got to be a part of that family. But one time he saw people whooping the slaves and he knew he wasn’t a part of Pharaoh’s family so he tackled him and the guy died so Moses had to run away. Then he saw God in the fire and God told Moses to go back and say “let my people go.” So Moses went back but Pharaoh kept messin’ with Moses and God told Moses to lay the stick on the ground and it turned into a snake. Then God made frogs come and there was blood in all the water and there were flies and God killed all the older brothers and Pharaoh got mad so he let the people go but then he tried to bring them back again. Then they got to the water but they couldn’t swim that good so Moses stuck is stick in the water and the people ran away from Pharaoh in-between the water and the fish were jumping but when Pharaoh’s people got in the water they drowned.

Then there was dude who always went to his room to pray to God but some people tricked the king and made all the people pray to the king but Daniel kept praying to God. Then he had to go to where the lions are at. The lions were about to beat him up but God stopped them.

We’re learning about all these stories because God is special and powerful and we want to make His heart smile. All these stories are part of God’s rescue plan to save us from Satan because Satan wants to take over the world and make it mad and not very happy. So God said no and said He is gonna make the world happy again by His rescue plan to save us and carry us up to heaven to be in His family if we believe in Jesus that He didn’t let Satan get us instead He took over the world cause He loves us and He died on the cross for us so we won’t have to die. We should have to die because we the ones who have sinned and been mean to Jesus and God and they said even though you been being mean to me I’m not gonna let you all die. And Jesus only did the good things but people still spit on Him and hit him with pokey things that took His skin off and that was us doin’ that to him, we made Him carry a cross and when I hear about that I start crying cause He died and it was us that sinned He really didn’t. But the Good News is that He came to to life. That’s the rescue plan everybody was waiting for. That’s why there is Christmas.”

That’s why there is Christmas. Because a broken world needed redeemed, and none of us could do it. It took God leaving heaven to become like us, to drudge through the ick of our sin in flesh and blood, to give up everything, all to win us back. It’s the rescue plan creation has been longing for ever since the crisp crunch of that terrible lie shuddered the whole world as Eve bit that apple. It’s the longing of every heart, the story of our Hero wiping away every tear, making all the sad things come untrue, it’s about the light that breaks the awful darkness that tries to swallow us up. It’s Jesus. And here we are, thousands of years later still trying to follow the star, still trying to find the One the angels are singing about. We pray you are ever seeking, faithfully responding to the invitation to be a part of the grandest story of redemption one could ever dream of. He is making all things new.

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