For so many around the world 2016 was a year of hope.
- Americans hoped by electing Trump that America would be great again.
- We all hoped that the atrocities in Aleppo would be over.
- Each country hoped their athletes would do well at the Rio Olympics.
- The wave of refugees sweeping through Europe hoped for a better life and future.
- The UK hoped that by leaving the EU things would be better for them.
- We all hoped that mass killings like Nice, Brussels and Pakistan would stop.
- Sports fans hoped that their favorite team would win and certainly in Australia in the NRL and AFL there were a couple of fairy tale wins where hope against all hope paid off.
- Even in the last few weeks in the frenzy of Christmas shopping, as we buy presents we hope they will bring joy to out love ones.
Hope is everywhere. Even as I write this on Christmas morning I hope someone reads it.
The bible says Hope is the anchor of the soul.
Bishop Desmond Tutu says Never lose hope as it’s the light in the darkness.
Another quote says, Sometimes hope is all you have when you have nothing else…but if you have it….you have everything.
The Christmas message is one of Hope. Man lost absolutely in his sin had no hope. Wretched and separated from God, man had no ability to fix the problem. But then came a Silent Night. A Holy Night, where a baby was born in Bethlehem. Emmanuel: God is with us. Hope came to mankind. This is Christmas. This is hope.
The other night I managed to upset some atheists on FB and one in particular who has anti God messages all over her FB wall, took to private messaging me to colorfully explain what she thought of my faith in the ‘invisible man in the sky’. She said if God was real and the message of salvation was so important he should do more dramatic stuff to get our attention…..I asked….Like leaving heaven, taking on the form of a man, gathering all past, present and future sins and paying the debt on those sins, submitting Himself to die at the hands of the creatures he created and was saving? Oh and then rise from the dead and show himself to over 500 people?
The conversation stopped there after she explained to me about sex and travel (that’s code for F#&% off).
Here’s the thing. I can’t think of a more powerful way of communicating God’s message of salvation than to do exactly what God did at Christmas time.
Jesus is the hope of the world.
And the challenge I see for atheists is that the best they can hope for is Christians are wrong and they extinguish at death. The best I can hope for as a Christian is that Jesus Christ came into the world to savers sinners, of which I am one, so that I may have eternal life.
And that is worth hoping for.
Merry Christmas. I hope you have an amazing day with loved ones. I also hope 2017 is an amazing year for you.