Audacity of Hope (Amos 9:11-15)
Topic: Sermons Passage: Amos 9:11–9:15
This week we start the Advent Season preparing our hearts for the Incarnation of Christ. We are taking a short break from 1 Corinthians and will be looking at “Christmas with the Minor Prophets,” considering a few texts in the Minor Prophets to see how they point us to Christmas hope. As we consider passages from Amos, Zephaniah, Zechariah, and Malachi, we’ll see how God’s people in the Old Testament expected a Davidic king who would come to save His people and set the world right again. Surely when the angels told the shepherds, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,” (Luke 2:12), they were giving good news: the Old Testament expectation would be fulfilled in Jesus.
The Old Testament Prophets in general, and the Minor Prophets in particular, have a lot to teach us about hope in hard times. This Sunday, we begin our advent series with a prophecy of hope from Amos 9:11-15. Amos brings audaciously hopeful words at the end of a relentlessly negative book. As the shepherd-prophet declared God’s judgment upon the northern ten tribes with a number of terrible visions, it would have been easy for God’s people to wonder whether there was any hope in the midst of judgment. This final word tells us that it still makes sense to hope - even when it feels ridiculous and reckless to do so. We hope because God has fulfilled, is fulfilling, and will fulfill the promises of Amos 9 in the Messiah. Surely all of Scripture points us to Jesus, His way of salvation, His purpose to renew all things, so that we can rejoice with Christmas hope. And so, in the end, somehow, it all leads us back to Jesus and the Gospel (Wow, just like 1 Corinthians, who knew?).
There are two other events this Sunday. During the Sunday School, we will have a congregational meeting to hear the 2017 Annual Report and the 2018 Budget Plan. I would strongly encourage you to make every effort to be there. And then, at the end of the service, we have the privilege to come to the Lord’s Table, and so we ask the Spirit to use the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to assure our hearts. He must act, awakening our hearts, causing us to cling to the promises of hope, lifting us up to the heavenly places where Christ is. And He continues to apply the forgiveness of God to our hearts as we sin, renewing our repentance. It is a fitting reminder for us as we come to Christ’s meal.
Additionally, we’re continuing a few new things during Advent. One of those has to do with looking forward by encouraging generosity, but we’re also going to look back at how Potomac Hills has made a difference in the lives of various people. So, we’ve asked a some folks to share a brief testimony each week on how God has used this church in their lives. Last week, we heard from the Culver’s about how thankful they are for this church. This week we’re going to reflect on how examining our lives leads us to a place of hope and trust. So come this Sunday and sing and pray and repent and share and eat and hear for yourself. It should be a special day, see you then! Dr. Dave