“What in the world is going on?” Have you said that to yourself or out loud recently? I have for sure! If you read the headlines, if you watch your favourite news channel on television, there is an inundation of frightening revelation of sin that for decades remained hidden and silent. We are reading of major political, television and sports celebrities whose past behaviour is now coming back to haunt them. There seemingly is no hope for them. For the victims of their crimes, there is finally hope that they no longer have to live in the shadows of past events that robbed them of hope.
We are about to celebrate the coming to live among us of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive the adoption as sons,” (Galatians 4:4). Those who were without a chance to make anything of their lives, with no hope to become what they were created to become, and those who were guilty of sin and the victims of sinful behaviour, hope would be a real possibility!
The harsh reality is this: Left to ourselves, to our own devices and imaginations, we are without hope. You see the evidence of that fleshed out in the world around us, it is so evident as we witness people who try to drown their hopeless state through drugs, alcohol, sex, power and the list goes on and on. And when none of those things does the trick, sadly, suicide becomes a palatable option. There is no hope at that point.The flashy temptations that the world presents to us have one goal. That goal is to convince us that we can make it on our own, that we are our own boss, that the world is unfair if it refuses to give us what we want. Temptation offers us the hope to escape the mundane prison that life seems to present us. But in the end…”…desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death,” (James 1:15). Sin breeds hopelessness and eventually spiritual and physical death.
At Christmas we celebrate that God entered time and lived among us offering us hope that on our own we could never discover. Jesus Christ is the hope of the world. He came to give you and I a reason for living. “According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” (1 Peter 1:3). “And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” (1 John 3:3).
Looking at the world around us, looking at our own lives seem to cry out to us “Is there any hope at all?” Ah, my friend, there is and his name is Jesus. Yes, the same Jesus who was born in a rugged old stable in the backwoods of Bethlehem, was born to give you hope. This Christmas renew your hope in him. Recognize him for who he is and why he came.
Hope came to humanity when Jesus Christ was born! Let that hope be born in your life. Meditate on it, pray on it and receive it again, perhaps even for the first time.
For His Glory,
Pastor Bill Finch