The Hope Collective Advent Guide
Hope | Week 1 | Day 5
He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”
We Are Called to Be Like Jesus
First and foremost, Jesus’ inaugural sermon was a proclamation that Isaiah’s prophecy from long ago had been fulfilled in the very presence of those who heard him.
When Jesus finished reading, a sense of expectancy hung in the air. His next words made a radical claim: “‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:21). Jesus was announcing the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. The anointed one, the Messiah, the Christ had come. The compassionate Suffering Servant who empathizes with us in our deepest grief was here in the flesh.
Within this passage is a profound spiritual lesson: the gospel that saves us is the same gospel that other people need. The same Holy Spirit that anointed Jesus has been poured out on you and me. Christ calls us to proclaim his gospel to the people around us—people who are just as needy as we are.
Like Jesus, we are called to care for people’s bodies as well as their souls. This means meeting the material needs of others, visiting the imprisoned, helping the diseased and disabled, and comforting those who suffer.
But most of all, the gospel according to Jesus is about the renewal of the church and the reformation of society through the spiritual salvation of God’s people. It is about lifting us up from the poverty of our souls, releasing us from captivity to sin, and helping us see past our spiritual blindness.
As we prepare our hearts to receive the gift of the Christ Child this Advent, God calls us to reach out and help others who share our desperate need for salvation.
– Wheaton College President Philip G. Ryken, Risen with Healing in His Wings: God’s Tender Compassion for a Hurting World.
Father, today help me to care for people’s bodies as well as their souls. Show me how I can serve the people I encounter. And help me to always share the hope of salvation that is only found in Jesus Christ.
Leave a nice note on a co-worker’s desk or in your kid’s lunch bag or on your bathroom mirror for your spouse.
Venmo a friend $5 for coffee with a note of encouragement.
Watch this video and forward to a friend who can use encouragement.
Read Luke 1:39-56. Create a playlist of everyone’s favorite Christmas carols and worship songs. Play it while on the go all week long and don’t be afraid to sing along!