Matthew 12:15-21

This section of Matthew leaves me with questions. How long does it
take for Jesus to cure all those in the crowds that follow him? Does
he think these newly healed multitudes will keep the details of their
good news quiet like he orders them to? Sixteen chapters later Jesus
will instruct his followers to do the opposite and tell all nations
about who he is and what he does. Will that order be easier for them
to follow than this one is?

Yet for all I wonder about, what intrigues me most in today’s passage is its last, attention-grabbing phrase: And in his name the Gentiles will hope (v. 21).

We mention hope frequently during Advent; we long to be
hopeful people. We recognize how necessary hope is for us to thrive,
or to just survive. But in winter’s gloomy days, when the holidays are
past and hope is hard to come by, remembering our baptism is what
may help us locate its source.

When he experienced depression, or struggled with doubt and
fear, Martin Luther would repeatedly shout, “I have been baptized!”
Baptism helps us remember that Christ is our hope.

As I write this, my soul begins humming Runyan’s, “Great is Thy
Faithfulness,” and my heart sings Chisholm’s words: “Strength for
today and bright hope for tomorrow, / Blessings all mine, with ten
thousand beside! / Great is Thy faithfulness!” With continued repe-
tition, I find myself believing anew this hope of Isaiah and Matthew,
the hope we claim at baptism, our hope for the future.


How do you renew your hope when it seems hidden in the depths of despair or in the busyness of everyday life?


Faithful God, help us find our hope in you today. Amen.

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