A Reason to Hope

From the archives – December 2007

(This entry kind of holds new meaning after this year’s presidential election. What does it mean to bring “hope”? Only Christ can truly answer that question.)

Hope. That’s what this season of Christmas is about for me this year. The advent of a soon-to-be-born Savior. The coming of hope and peace to the world. The Messiah who would right all wrongs and restore the world to the shalom, the wholeness in which we were meant to live. Hope that Emmanuel would soon be here.

And in nine days we celebrate that more than 2,000 years ago, He did come. In this moment, God became man and burst into the space-time continuum in a way so peculiar, so scandalously particular — that God would be veiled in human flesh, fully God and fully man, to abide with us and to dwell in our midst in such a way that we could behold Him and interact with Him in an unprecedented way seems mere foolishness! That God would stoop to become man! But truly, it’s a testament to His love, His hesed, His commitment to His people and His creation to restore all things back to Himself, “for in Christ all things hold together.”

And so today, as I reflect upon a world, a country, a community, a family, an individual who are all not the way they’re supposed to be, I remember the Hope that has come to this world.  And in the midst of mournful tears that recognize the brokenness of our world and affirm that we were meant to live for more, a light breaks upon my crushed hopes and wearied heart. Something of truth awakes in my soul and the Spirit of God speaks softly over me, “Hope.”

Hope is not wishful thinking. Hope is not an opiate or a crutch. Hope is not simply a diversion or a coping mechanism. Hope is that reality made possible when the Father gave His Son and He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit because He would ransom all — all things, all people, all thoughts, all creativity, all broken dreams, all shed tears, all clenched fists, and all hearts clothed in sackcloth and ashes — back to Himself.

The Creator came to redeem His people by His perfect, life-giving love. And He started something that day which has a momentum that cannot be stopped, cannot be quenched, and continues to this very day until His work has reached perfect completion. The Redeemer has come to reconcile us back to God, and now we are made partners, ambassadors in His reconciling work. And the pain we have felt, the wounds that we nurse, the dreams that have been trampled find new life in the One Who gave up His life and by His resurrection gave life to all.

Hope. This Christmas season, God has reminded me of the hope that I have in Christ Jesus, and as His truth washes over me, I can lift up my head and somehow see clearly, somehow gain momentum forward, and somehow find an end to my tears.

Hope. Jesus Christ is the Author of hope. And this Christmas season, I am realizing in a very poignant way why “Hope is the momentum of life.”

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