Advent: Share Hope

Jesus was born into a world marked by hopelessness. God had been silent. No doubt people wondered if He had given up on them. Surely they questioned why He hadn’t shown up to deliver them out of their misery.

I’m glad we don’t feel like that anymore. Oh wait…it’s 2020. Has this year made you wonder if God is finally done with us? Have you grown abundantly weary waiting for Him to end all this craziness?

Well, a COVID Christmas is up next. After shrinking Thanksgiving in the Corona wash cycle, it is safe to say this Christmas will be different. But the truth of Christmas? The reminders of Christmas? The meaning of Christmas? Not even a global pandemic can touch that.

Yes, Christmas is all about proclaiming joy to the world. Peace on earth gets a lot of December publicity as well. But don’t forget hope.

Christmas reminds us of the hope that we have in Jesus. You see, our struggle is not from a lack of hope. It’s from a lack of understanding true hope.

We tend to reduce hope to wishful thinking. I hope I win the lottery. I hope to never be on a Zoom call again. I hope all the bad stuff goes away on January 1. I hope those Christmas Lexus commercials come true for me this year. I hope my kids never embarrass me in public. I hope the Cowboys finish out the year on a big winning streak.

Wishful-thinking hope is full of uncertainty. That kind of hope will surely disappoint almost all of us, especially Cowboys fans.

Christmas reminds us of a hope that is certain. A hope that is founded and grounded in God’s promises and His perfect record of keeping them. Christmas is telling a story of God bringing hope to the world via a manger.

Jesus was born in tiny Bethlehem, lived his whole life in Israel, and died on a Roman cross in Jerusalem. The story doesn’t end there, of course. No grave could contain Him, and He rose again to conquer it all.

So we have hope. A hope that is certain. A hope that will never disappoint. A hope for all eternity.

During this season, let me challenge you to do two things in light of the steadfast hope Jesus brought us.

First, we need to embrace the only hope that matters. Our hope is bigger than our circumstances. Our hope comes from the truth that Jesus is with us and will never leave us. It is far too easy to place our hope in things that are not promised, things that are not that important, and things that are not eternal. Let’s find true and lasting hope in the gospel.

Second, let’s share the hope that we have with a world that desperately needs it. This is the bottom line of Christmas. We have hope, and we are called to share that hope with the world. Pray for opportunities. Ask God to open up doors and guide conversations. And let us know how God uses you. We love to hear those stories.

Let’s share the hope of Christmas.

Lance Shumake