“Is this three?”, she asked holding up two fingers.
“No, that’s two.”
“Is this three?” This time she held up four fingers.
“Not quite. Here. Look. This is three.” I said as I held up three fingers. She giggled and said, “I’m three.”
This cute little girl, with the dark ringlets and impish grin, told me she wants a horse and a zebra for Christmas this year. She doesn’t think that’s too much. She very nicely told me she would put “coffee and chocolate” on my Christmas list when I told her that was what I wanted.
My little friend has high hopes she’ll find a horse and zebra under her tree on Christmas morning. We all have high hopes this time of year. Some might hope to get a Christmas bonus big enough to cover their Christmas gifts, or Christmas dinner. Some might hope for a spouse, a child, a house, a new car, snow (or no snow), a new phone, a new computer or ______________________(insert your wish here).
That isn’t the hope of Advent though. The hope of Advent is a sure hope. It’s a hope that says, “It’s a done deal!” In fact, the Greek word translated into English as hope means, “absolute future certainty.”
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people.Luke 1:68
This morning that verse fairly jumped off the page at me. This was penned before Jesus was born, before He lived His sinless life, before He died a cruel death that should have been ours, before He died to pay for our sins. The Holy Spirit told Zechariah that redemption had been accomplished. It wasn’t something yet in the future, it was seen in that moment as having been accomplished, completed, done.
So what does that mean for us in this season of Advent? Simply. We can live as fully loved, fully blessed, fully redeemed children of God. Because our redemption is not in the future. It’s not when we get our life and act together, it’s not when we get married, or have a baby, or get a new car, or house. Our redemption is now. It’s completely now. It’s completely completed now. There is not one more thing that needs to be done to redeem us.
You might be thinking, “But you don’t know what I’ve done…”. That’s true, I don’t. But Jesus does. And guess what? He’s not surprised by your sin, your ugliness. He died to redeem those sins, those sins you think put you beyond all hope of redemption.
Those sins that make you cringe and say, “Not those sins.” The very ones that make you shudder to think of, and you say, “I just can’t forgive myself for that.”
Let me very lovingly tell your heart today, dear friend, you are not beyond redemption. You are not beyond forgiveness. You are not beyond God’s forgiveness. You, also, are not more powerful than God. His forgiveness is complete. You do not have to and you absolutely can not add anything to it. There is nothing you can do, nothing you have to do to earn your own redemption. You cannot help God redeem you, you can’t pick up any of God’s lack or slack, because, God has none.
There is nothing lacking in God. He lacks nothing. So put down your anger, your bitterness, your unforgiveness. Put them down at the cross. And walk away free from all of that.
Your redemption is accomplished! It has been accomplished for two thousand years. Please, dear friend, let’s choose to live like it this Advent.