The message of hope…
by Mervyn Morelock, Lt. Colonel –
…is why we pray. Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote, “Hope is fundamental to the way we, as Christians, live our lives.” When my hope fades, or even shifts to someone other than Jesus, then I’m walking on sinking sand. And the spiritual chain of events in history works like this:
Adri Roos of the 24/7 Prayer movement writes on the subject of “hope”: “In a time when we are bombarded with messages of fear, hope is crucial. It fuels our thoughts, inspires our actions and ultimately brings change. The current message of our time tells us to fear, to cling to what we have, and try and make our own way to the top. The recession tells us to stop giving, and store up what we have. The HIV epidemic tells us 33.2 million people are living with HIV globally and that there’s no cure. The staggering numbers of peoples being trafficked across this globe tell us the world is morally bereft and nothing can be done. It’s all a horrible lost cause.”
But the Bible assures that there is no lost cause. God is still on the throne and in control. The prophets of gloom and doom, the headline writers of today’s newspapers are wrong.
The arrival of the baby Jesus in Bethlehem and the birth of little babies everywhere—in villages, farms and cities all over the world—is the visible evidence that people have an incredible, innate spirit of hope and faith for the future.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6 NIV).
The coming of Jesus into a wicked and fear-filled world brought hope to a people who had little to hope for. His birth, life, death and resurrection brought an exciting new spirit of hope and change to the world. And that’s what the spirit of Christmas brings to us.
This past year, thousands of prayers have gone up before God through the Call to Prayer bulletins. And every week we receive notes and messages that names can be removed from the list because prayer has been answered. The hope and faith represented in those prayers have resulted in action and change in countless situations.
As Christians, we need to keep alive hope and faith in today’s world and focus always on Jesus. A new song has appeared on the charts this year: “Where’s the line to see Jesus?”
Four-year-old Spencer saw kids lined up in the mall to see Santa Claus. Having been taught as a toddler that Christmas is the holiday that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, he asked his mom, ”Where’s the line to see Jesus?” And out of this simple innocent question has come a new song:
“A little boy tugged my sweater. Looked up and asked me,
Where’s the line to see Jesus? Is he here at the store?
If Christmas time is his birthday, why don’t we see him more?
Where’s the line to see Jesus? He was born for me.
Santa Claus brought me presents, but Christ gave his life for me.
If Christmastime is his birthday, why don’t we see him more?”
1 Peter 1:3 talks about a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus. The massiveness of the world’s and our problems shouldn’t make us hopeless. Our lives should be grounded in our Living Hope: Jesus! As Christians, we have the promise of more than we can imagine and request. When everyone is filled with despair by shocking economic indicators, we can pray and act with hope.
Let us, this Christmas, maintain this living hope at the center of our lives and share him with all we meet.
In a world that seems beset with every kind of sin, and some being boldly promoted; Jesus assures us that we can have hope and peace in our hearts!
“So give your heart to Jesus, you’ll discover when you do, that it’s Christmas, really Christmas for you!”