Hope for Salvation

Tween outgrew his room.

Three issues: increasing age and maturity; a sentimental-pack rat soul; and the furniture and layout just weren’t working. The convertible crib-daybed-full bed frame cracked some time ago. The remaining headboard, unattached, banged against the wall each time he rolled over. The drawers for the coordinating changing table-dresser stuck. Both pieces were more than sixteen years old, hand-me-downs from his brother. His rug, another hand-me-down, had belonged to an older friend who outgrew it, a cityscape “drive-your-Hotwheels here” rug. As our house doesn’t have a coat closet, our winter coats occupied half of his closet. His own coats never made it to the overly-crowded closet, so they took up valuable floor space. He had WAY too much stuff in the small space, and no good organizational system.

"Make a path!" our most regular room-related mantra

“Make a path!” our most regular room-related mantra

Our Christmas gift to him: a room re-do. We took him shopping on Saturday to buy a new dresser, shelving units, rug, pillows to sub for a headboard, and curtains for his closet. But we hadn’t really calculated how two hours of furniture shopping would equal exponential hours of clean-out.

We boxed and bagged up most of his stuff and piled it on the living room rug. Dad spackled, sanded, and touch-up painted the walls. We sorted “Keep” and “Give away”s. We vacuumed the dust bunnies that multiply behind and under furniture. We wiped down the old furniture, assembled the new, stuffed the pillowcases, rolled up the old rug and rolled out the new one. Less than five hours of work, over two days, and we have so much more to do before we’re done.

My laundry baskets currently hold a) enough Nerf guns for a neighborhood army and b) a small library of books that don’t fit his bookcase. Both baskets – and so much else! – currently reside in the garage, our own Land of Misfit Toys. I considered taking “during” pictures, but honestly, didn’t want to remember the overwhelming and fairly disheartening chaos.

For now, we’ve hit the Pause button. Shelving units and additional stuff-sorting will happen slowly, over weeks, but I can’t handle More this close to Christmas. Besides, I’m pretty sure he won’t miss most of the stuff in the garage.

Better, right?

Better already, right?

Tween had made a mess of the “broken system” that had been his room. It took expensive and hard work, more than he could manage on his own, to save him from himself and restore order and peace to his world. In short – and yes, an admittedly poor analogy – Tween needed salvation.

Sin broke the world God created. Humankind has done a bang-up job of wrecking the good place God made to be our home. We needed God to step in, to pay the price and do the work we couldn’t do for ourselves.

God gives us the gift of salvation, freely because there is not a single thing in the whole world we could do to earn it. He gives it, we receive it. And then we receive it over and over, day after day, hour after hour, again and again. We continue accepting the gift because we continue to need it. Philippians 2:12-13 says, “…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” God does the work, and we do the work of “working it out.”

Tween (and we) have hours of sorting and assembling yet to go. He will then have to hang his jackets, put away his clothes and toys, make his bed. We made it possible, but he will have work to do, no more excuses. Before it did feel (at least a little bit) hopeless. Now we are hopeful. And it feels good.

Week 4 – Hope of Salvation
December 21-24

Read Scripture: Micah 5:2, 4-5a; Matt. 2:1-6

Candle lighting: Light the four perimeter candles.

Read: Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” The first candle represents the hope of Israel. The second candle represents the hope of heaven. The third candle represents the hope of His coming. The fourth candle represents the hope of salvation.

This week we celebrate the birth of a baby born to be King. Mighty kings and small children together bow before Him in worship. God promised that this baby will be a good Shepherd and a strong Ruler, bringing peace to the ends of the earth. Come and worship the hope of our salvation!

Pray: Dear God, thank you that you kept your promise to send us the hope of salvation. In the name of Jesus we hope and pray, Amen.

 

Throughout the Week// light the candle, read and discuss the daily Scripture and pray together.

Light four candles as you say: Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Monday// Psalm 42:5// What makes you feel downcast, and how can God help you?
Tuesday// Psalm 65:5// What awesome or righteous deeds have you seen God do?
Wednesday// Ephesians 4:4// All God’s people hope in Him. Say thank you to Jesus for your hope in Him!

Pray: Dear God, thank you that you kept your promise to send us the hope of salvation. In the name of Jesus we hope and pray, Amen.

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