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Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

Proverbs 13:12

Waiting and hoping.

Longing is defined by Merriam Webster as “a strong desire especially for something unattainable”.

Have you ever longed for something important…something significant…something that your heart has been set on for a long time, only to keep on waiting as “unrelenting disappointment” (MSG) continued to break your heart as you kept on waiting?

No results.

No perceived light at the end of the tunnel.

Disappointment can uproot any hope that we have been holding onto.

Year after year, generation after generation, the Israelites waited for the promised Messiah. After four hundred years, I imagine many hearts had either given up hope or felt the great heart sickness of this “unrelenting disappointment”.

Matthew, the first book of the New Testament, opens without fanfare or a dazzling play-by-play of the answer to hundreds of years of prayers. Rather, he opens up his account of Jesus Christ with a genealogy.

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Matthew 1:1

Genealogies were significant. They were a way to legitimize a person, stating “this individual is who they claim to be”. In Matthew’s introduction to his account of Jesus, he starts by connecting Jesus to Abraham and David. Both Abraham and David are significant members of this ancestorial line. Abraham was the father of the nation of Israel and the one to whom God made covenant with. God promised Abraham that, through his offspring, God would pour out his blessing. David was royalty. God made a covenant with David as well- that his offspring would sit on the throne and rule forever.

Matthew points to Abraham, drawing the attention of the readers to the fact that the promise and blessing of Abraham has come through Jesus Christ. Christ was not just another name in a line of generations past; he was the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham from the conception of a nation.

Matthew points to David, declaring Christ’s royal lineage. Jesus is the heir to David’s throne, and he will reign forever. God’s covenant to David was fulfilled through Jesus. Prophets had foretold the coming of the Messiah. The Israelites were anticipating a king.

While Matthew’s genealogy pointed directly to Christ’s fulfillment of Abraham’s promise and his royal lineage through David, it also did something deeply profound. Matthew highlighted four women: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Uriah’s wife (Bathsheba). Not only was it something of a wonder to find the names of women included in a male-dominated genealogy, but these women were prostitutes, Gentiles, women wrapped up in scandal.

They were outsiders.

They were the rest of us.

After four hundred years of waiting, Jesus came. He came as King of kings, the promised one of Abraham, and the Hope of all mankind.

Through Matthew’s genealogy, we see that this longing for the Messiah had come. Hope was no longer deferred.

Hope is with us.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

Hebrews 10:23

It is easy to get caught up in the mental madness of all the broken promises this world has given to us. As much as we may try to avoid keeping track, our brains somehow hold all the records of all the wrongs we’ve experienced and all the misplaced hopes we’ve pined away for. Some of those losses were a blessing, and we breathe a big sigh of relief. Some of them might still hurt. We hoped, and we waited. Maybe we are still hoping and still waiting. We are walking in that “unrelenting disappointment”.

Misplaced hope always leaves us wanting.

But the hope that holds us…keeps us…strengthens us in the midst of a world that consistently disappoints, is the Hope that came at Christmas. The son of David and the son of Abraham. The promise incarnate. The King of kings. The Messiah for all of us.

The hope we profess is the hope of salvation and redemption…the hope of Jesus. And we know that he is faithful. Matthew’s genealogy legitimizes Christ’s identity. We know that the promise has been fulfilled, and therefore, we know our hope is secure.

Christmas is my favorite time of year. The lights, the music, the ‘butterflies in the tummy’ feeling of anticipation brings me tremendous joy. There is hope everywhere. It is in the eyes of the six-year-old hoping to find that special toy under the Christmas tree. It is in the face of the young woman hoping to grasp her long-awaited joy. It is in the voice of the singer who declares “Joy to the world…”, and it is heard in the heartbeat of our elders, wondering if there truly is hope for mankind.

I love Christmas even more because I know that my hope is grounded in truth. While I may not see clearly, or understand the circumstances around me, the assurance of Christ’s presence gives me tremendous peace.

What- or who- are you hoping in this year?

What does Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus mean to you as you contemplate the hopes deferred in your life?

If you were to hold unswervingly to the Hope that Matthew declares to be the legitimate Messiah and King, how might your perception of your current circumstances change?

What does hope in Christ look like to you?


Hope in Jesus…the promise…the King…is a hope that never betrays us. Like a beautiful string of lights that warm up the cold winter landscape, Christ’s presence reminds us that hope in him will light our paths and warm our hearts…even when the world turns a cold shoulder on its promises.

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2 Responses to “hope is with us – advent 2022”

  1. Jeanie Edwards says:

    Amy, I always look forward to your posts. You are missed at PCC and these posts are a way to continue to sit under your teaching.
    This post spike significantly to me as I age and continue to wait on the Lord for answers to prayers.
    I think of you often and the commitment you’ve
    Made to serve Africa. Love, hugs and prayers.

  2. Amy says:

    Thank you, Jeanie…this means so much to me. I miss you as well, and appreciate your prayers.

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