This week we step into Advent—the season to prepare our hearts to receive God’s gift of the birth of a Savior. The word “advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming.” We wait with eager anticipation for the coming of our King!

The four weeks leading up to Christmas correlate with a theme of remembrance: Hope, Love, Joy, Peace. This week, we focus on Hope and the expectation and anticipation of the coming Messiah.

Last month, one of our World Race: Gap Year squads had the opportunity to partake in baptism. Baptism is both an outward declaration of faith and a symbolic death of the old man and resurrection of the new man alive in Christ. We are dead to our sins, our old identity, and ultimately dead to ourselves as we are washed clean and welcomed as citizens in the Kingdom.

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:4)

Shame, guilt, fear, comparison and sin were all left dead in the water as freedom rose again and brought us from death to life, hopelessness to the fullness of hope found in Jesus.

As one of the Racers said:

The same Spirit that brings Him back to life also gets to raise me up from the water. Now I get to be fully alive in Jesus and His Spirit. I’m no longer in bondage. He had already broken those chains, but I was still carrying them around. Baptism gets to be a rebirth, but to be reborn you have to die again. (Layna Tolton)

Find more testimonies here!

This Advent season, may we put our hope in Christ alone, welcoming Him as He came to take our broken pieces and give us new life.