What is it that you give in to during the week before Christmas? Those sweets, chocolates, and biscuits that you wouldn’t normally eat? The anger at people who just won’t get out of your way? The pleading eyes of your children when they see a new toy they want? The wishful thinking that this Christmas your family will get along? Hope that this will be the best Christmas ever?
Everywhere we look we are reminded that this season is unlike any other time of the year. We aren’t in New York and yet bright lights fill the city night. We get drawn into their fairytale world of wonder. Window displays welcome us to wintery worlds filled with joy and laughter. Together they call us to a happy Christmas. They declare peace to the world and good will to all people. These good wishes are remnants of hope realised when a baby, the promised Saviour, was born 2000 years ago. Even the Christmas songs being played in our shopping malls and restaurants quote the prophesies and promises about what Jesus came to do. We are surrounded by the invitation to hope again.
Hope changes things. A longing for better things based on real possibility motivates us to make choices that make us better people. It challenges us to picture a future where there is peace, joy, and generosity.
Imagine a Christmas week during which your whole community chose to give in to hope. This isn’t just any hope. It is the hope that Jesus was God with us. It is the hope that Jesus is still God with us, allowing us to live perfectly loved and accepted with the One who created us. It is the hope that one day Jesus will bring a final end to pain and sorrow. The hope that everything will be made new. What if we gave into this hope?