There’s been a line of a Christmas Carol going through my mind in these days leading up to Christmas: the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight. That line is from the very familiar carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem. It’s quite a claim isn’t it? All our desires and longings, all of our anxieties and fears find their meaning and fulfillment in the Christ Child, born in Bethlehem.
Hopes and fears . . . our lives are a constant mixture of hopes and fears: fear of the future, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of being alone, fear of losing your job, your marriage, your kids, your health, fear of falling back into destructive habits. We all represent any number of unmanageable life circumstances.
Our hearts were created to be filled with hope. But so often our hearts get distracted by the constant dripping of fear and worry. What does your heart hope for? I hope that I get what I want for Christmas? I hope my kids come home this year. I hope there is no homework over the Christmas break? I hope grandma isn’t lonely. I hope dad stays sober. I hope my marriage stays together. I hope my health improves. I hope this year is better than last. The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight. What a claim, what promise, what hope!
I wish you hope this Christmas. I pray the hope of God fills your life. As someone said, when our foundation of faith is shaken by the pressure of life, we need to be reminded of one who is the Beginning and the Ending. One who is . . . who was . . . and who is to come, the Almighty. We need to get our vision from the limiting daily struggles of our lives to a vision of greater purpose, greater depth, by remembering and affirming the unchanging, unswerving presence of One, whom from Alpha to Omega, Beginning and ending, was . . . is . . . and is to come! May you be filled with hope.
Angela and I, along with our children, Noah, Judah and Sarah, all wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year. We are very thankful for our church family here at Elim. It has been a very rewarding year of ministry. With prayerful expectation, I anticipate the Lord’s plans and purposes being fulfilled among us. Your prayerful support and kindness is much appreciated.