Where Hope Thrives
When it comes to the Christmas season, we celebrate. The rest of the year we wish people well with the word ‘happy’… Happy Birthday! Happy Easter! Happy Anniversary! But when it comes to Christmas, our language changes. We say ‘Merry Christmas’. Other than in this season, when was the last time that you used the word ‘merry’?
At Christmas time we also have the tendency to ‘get back to basics’ when it comes to the stories, lessons and sermons we experience at church. During the year, we explore different ideas and themes of the Bible, but come the end of the year, we always return to the same story, and with it the same themes.
Some of the most pleasant-sounding concepts found in the Bible come around at Christmas. We like words like, hope, love, joy and peace. And wouldn’t it be easy to just leave it at that? To think of these pleasant words in this pleasant (except for the Queensland heat) season, and just be merry?
But think about the word hope for a minute. It is easy to have hope when life is going well, when there aren’t obstacles, trauma, fear, grief or stress. And wouldn’t it be altogether pleasant if we got to have easy hope; hope that makes sense because things are going well all the time?
But that isn’t life. And it certainly isn’t the life that the Bible promises us. From cover to cover, the books of the Bible show people having hope in the face of circumstances that make hope seem reckless. Throughout history, people continue to have hope through times that logic would dictate hope should have died.
Hope thrives where you would expect to find hopelessness. It defies the logic of what we expect. And thank God that it does. Humanity has this innate capacity to cultivate hope in the worst of conditions.
So, I hope that things are going well in your life this Christmas season. I truly want that for each and every person. But in the merriment of this time of year, if you are dealing with stress, loss, grief or any other troubles, remember that these cheerful concepts are meant for you too. Hope thrives best when we need it most.
Written by: Lauren Mead