Hope, at Christmastime, and throughout the year
At Christmastime, generosity and joy motivate us, and the season is filled with a sense of hopeful expectation.
But what about the rest of the year?
Is this optimistic hopefulness only found in a brief celebration, at a certain time of year? Is it also found in circumstances such as a job that pays more money, or finding a partner who pleases us, or having a government that we approve of? What is the source of this “confident expectation?” And what do you do if your circumstances don’t work out in the way you wished?
Hope, for believers, is based in the way God has always cared for his people. It can be seen throughout the Old Testament, in rescue and renewal in the story of Noah and his clan from the flood; in Moses’ mission to lead his people out of slavery; and in the family line that started with Abraham, and unfolded throughout history leading to the birth of Jesus. And since God always has cared for us, we can believe he always will, and in response, we can show our gratitude in acts of love.
In our modern times, we can see this response in the people who invite strangers to share in their Christmas celebrations, who serve meals for the hungry in the community, or those who thoughtfully seek the perfect gift for friends and family. But a change of heart is where these acts of kindness are born.
Believers are taught that “if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,” then we should be “like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” (Philippians 2:1-2) This passage reflects characteristics of Christ that can be reproduced in us. And these are characteristics that would be admired and appreciated in anyone. Could your heart be changed like this?
When Jesus was born, it was announced, “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” (Luke 2:10) ‘All the people’ includes you and me, and anyone can partake of this gift.
Where has God got you right now? Are you in a difficult place where you are anxious or worried about the future?
If you would like to be rejoicing in hope, look to the cradle where God’s most hope-filled gift was laid.
And, after the season of celebration is over, friends at Aundeck Omni Kaning Fellowship would be glad to tell you about the hope he has given them.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Pastor Gerry Legault
Aundeck Omni Kaning fellowship