What we reflect on at Christmas time can be summed up in one simple word: hope.
For the Christian, that hope is Jesus. Before Jesus’ coming, hope had been a promise – a prediction of what was to come. Hope became something tangible when Jesus came in human form as an infant.
The promise of God to rescue his Creation from sin, brokenness, and pain found its fulfillment in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus, the preeminent one (John 8:58) is the one who spoke life into the first man (Gen 2:7), the one who spoke words of hope in the place where sin first entered the world (Gen 3:15), the one who spoke hope to Abram and promised him descendants greater than the stars (Gen 15:5), and the one who spoke freeing words of hope to Moses from a burning bush (Exodus 3). He is the fulfillment of all of the promises of God’s redemption. Jesus is hope, personified.
King David looked forward to this reality when he wrote the song we know as Psalm 62:
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. – Psalm 62:5-7
When you understand Jesus as the hope of all humanity, this song JUMPS off the page. Your hope is from God and is God. Might your hearts be full, knowing all of our salvation, security, glory, and refuge is found in Jesus Christ.
But, (and there is always a but!) the warm fuzzy feeling you get knowing this great truth was never designed to end with you. News this good, hope this real needs to be shared with those who are living otherwise hopeless lives. Those who are so poor they don’t know where their next meal is coming from are just as hopeless as those who might try to find hope in riches, possessions, prestige, or partnerships. The poor, the rich, the middle class, truly anyone, will continue to, feel empty and unfulfilled by anything they try to find their hope in outside of Jesus Christ and his redeeming love for them (Isaiah 54:8).
For those of us who believe in Jesus sharing the reason we celebrate Christmas is a spectacular way to show the world where our unchanging, fulfilling hope lies.
Foundation Church has a unique opportunity to show this hope to our community from our church building by being actively involved in the work our partners in the gospel, Toys for Tots, are doing.
From December 1st – 22nd we will once again distribute donated gifts to needy families who would otherwise go without this Christmas. People in our community will come into our building to receive toys for their children with little real hope in their lives.
As they are served by the people of God, it is my expectation that being warmly welcomed into a building that is used by our church to bring the Gospel to our community, receiving biblical hospitality, being offered the Word of God and the possibility of prayer, being served in Jesus’ name by Jesus’ people because of what Jesus has done in us, they might see the reason for the hope we have and ask the simple question, “why?”
The only answer we could ever give is that in Jesus we found Hope.
In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. – 1 Peter 3:15