This has been a tough year for hope.

Hope seems to be in very short supply. We are exhausted weary from protocols and anxious about the future. We are more distanced from each other than ever, more isolated — more disappointed — more conscious of darkness and death. The gods of our world have been laid low, platitudes and bromides mock us, young people graduating do not know what to hope for, it has become a 1 issue world. If we have learned anything from this last year it is that empty hopes cannot hold us.

This is crucial because hope is as important as breathing. Without hope there is no life because we are overwhelmingly and essentially people of hope. That is what it means to be human. Anticipation is what makes life worth living.

The basis of our hopes have been tested and found wanting. People say “Where there’s life, there’s hope,” but it is truer to say “Where there’s hope, there’s life.” Christmas is all about hope. It is when the light of hope entered our darkness. God sent his son into our darkness to be born for us, to live for us, to give us a hope which will hold us in this life and hold us till heaven.

The hope Christ brings is completely different than any other kind of hope. It is from God. It is eternal, it is certain and does not depend on our circumstances. It is filled with joy and the expectation of forgiveness and the family of God. It all rests on the shoulders of the child. The Christ, born in a manger, the Son of the Most High, who died and rose again to bring every good thing to us by bringing us to God. The hope of Christ increases and grows until we experience every different kind of joy with each other in the presence of Christ.

We invite you to join us this Christmas as we look again at the gift of God that you would come to know that we are held by hope.

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