Fresh Hope – 4th December 2019

Christmas time evokes all sorts of feelings and emotions for us. For some it is the most special time of the year – family, food and friends. For others, the painful realities of their lives are highlighted – lonely, broke, another year of no progress, perhaps forced celebrations with people who we don’t particularly enjoy, or maybe the deep pain of losing a loved one.  

Yet perhaps the festive season has a purpose in forcing us to face such emotions! It highlights that yes, we have needs, yet we equally have a more overwhelming hope. As beautiful as the gifts may be, delicious as the food is, and as frantic as the retail hype is, Christmas is actually about remembering that in our consuming situations and emotions, a hope was birthed for us! Jesus was gifted to us! 

I recently heard a heart-breaking comment made that the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth, is ‘just a myth’ and the real meaning of Christmas is about time with family and friends. Aside from this comment being historically inaccurate (we won’t go into it), I found it saddening that someone could live in this broken world without a hope in something beyond us! Yes family and friends are a beautiful aspect of the festive season and should be thoroughly enjoyed, but what if you don’t have family or friends? Or what if your family and friends fail you? What then is your hope? 

Without a strong hope, our soul (mind and emotions) are tossed to and fro by the storms of life. Hebrews 6:19 says, ‘Hope is the anchor to our soul’. The surest hope we have is in Jesus. He is our security this Christmas. 

Yes – make amazing dinners this Christmas, yes – enjoy time with those who are precious to you, yes – buy presents and share, but as wonderful as these things are, don’t neglect to remember the hope that was given to you, and don’t forget topass it on, for this is the real meaning of Christmas!

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.