Jesus Our Hope
At Oasis Church Chicago, our first “Core Value” that we live by is “Jesus our Hope.”
This is a powerful statement we proclaim as a church which embodies how we operate as a church family, what we proclaim within our lives and around this city, and why we do what we do. It is all tied around the sure knowledge of Jesus being our hope.
When I look at this season, I ponder the goodness of Jesus arriving to this world. The birth of Jesus, which was miraculous and overwhelming in itself, gave hope to our world in that a savior was born to bring anyone who calls on the name of Jesus back to Him. Jesus came - He came to be the hope of the world.
However, I cannot help but think back to the moment it all happened. What it felt like before Jesus arrived. The moment in which the people of God were waiting for their “hope” to arrive. How did they feel? I am sure they were filled with deep longing and expectation. How did they speak about it with one another? What were they doing as they waited?
I then think about the moments when the plan was set in motion and “hope” began to fill the earth that the Savior was coming and was fulfilling the promise of old.
I think to the moment of Mary, when she was told by the angel Gabriel that she would bear the Son of The Most High. Even at that moment, she wasn’t hoping for a child, but that certainly changed .
28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
Mary is rattled. She is startled. She is definitely overwhelmed. She doesn’t know how to react and begins to look at all the “circumstances” around her. But something changes. Hope comes.
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.”
I believe Mary’s whole spirit changed from hearing the news of carrying a baby - hopelessness - to now knowing she would be carrying the Hope of the World - hope beyond measure!
Mary went from a position of uncertainty to being certain that she was a part of a bigger picture of God’s grace and compassion for humankind. In the faith of knowing this - Mary was filled with hope I have to believe. She hoped for her future, she hoped for her family, she hoped for her friends and community, she hoped for many. She hoped that their lives would be filled with the Savior Jesus and that He would become the Hope of them all.
Jesus is our hope. Jesus is the only way that we can lean into hope. Just like Mary, it is a hard shift for us sometimes to go from a level of hopelessness because of what we see or what we hear around us to become people that say “I am the Lord’s servant.” In those bold words, like Mary, we remind our own spirits that we are not hoping in ourselves, but we are dedicated as a servant for the one who is Hope. No matter what is around us, no matter what is asked of us, we can lean into our Father as our hope because what He has for us is “... no Word from God will ever fail.” This is our hope-filled portion.
Response: Today - I encourage you to focus and meditate on these scriptures below. To remind your spirit that hopelessness is not our portion. That as we wait before the Lord, we begin to be filled with hope. We begin to be filled with the assurance that God is with us and for us. We begin to look at the hope we carry with the same anticipation that Mary did when she realized what was inside of her. Today, I pray you rest in the hope of Jesus.
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like eagles: they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 43: 1-2
But now, this is what the Lord says — he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “ Do not fear, for I have redeemed you ; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you: and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, “ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future
Psalm 3: 2-6
Many are saying of me, “ God will not deliver him. “ But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.