It’s the time of hope

 

As I (Steve) write, the first snow of the winter is on the ground. Some of you may hope this is the first fall of winter, others may hope it’s the last!

Three quotations relating to hope:-

“God is the only one who can make the valley of trouble a door of hope”

Catherine Marshall.

“Joy runs deeper than despair”

Corrie Ten Boom

“What gives me most hope every day is God’s grace; knowing that His grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.”

Rick Warren

My favourite Christmas reading is found in Luke chapter 2 and the account of the shepherds. I am also reminded of the hymn “While Shepherds watched their flocks by night”. The third verse:-

“To you in David’s town this day

is born of David’s line,

a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be the sign:”

A sign of hope promised even before the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Christmas story began in the Old Testament. God’s nature didn’t change, nor did ours, and He had our redemption in mind all the time. The prophets Jeremiah, Malachi, Zephaniah and Micah all proclaim the Christ that was to come – the hope promised long.

Every day we use that small word ‘hope’. It’s hard to live without it, but what is hope?

A vision for better days that changes us in the present?

Something around the corner that’s good?

Can I encourage you to read Jeremiah chapter 33 verses 14 to 16 – a promise and hope revealed and fulfilled almost 2000 years ago.

At Advent, we are invited to a journey of a real and more important lasting hope. But like the shepherds, we may have fear, but we need to respond and trust that as we enter into Christmas time and we leave 2010 behind and enter into 2011, we do so glorifying and praising God for all that He has revealed to us in both the Old and New Testaments.

If you want to know more about this “real hope” or the real purpose of Christmas, why not speak with one of the deacons.

May we take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy Christmas and New Year. 

 - Chris Baines, Joel Geyer, Steve Hardy, Mohan Shah

 

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