Faith Matters

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 “Christmas HOPE”

Yet this I call to mind   and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”

-Lamentations 3:21-22

Let’s turn our eyes to Christmas!  Yes… Christmas.  Finally! Thank God… as I have no comments about the weirdest Thanksgiving weekend in modern history… even though I am and remain thankful for so much of what life brings… and just for the record… one oddly celebrated Thanksgiving Day does not define those of the past or those to come!

I’m ready for some HOPE… I’ll bet you are, too!

The 2020 Christmas tree is up in the corner of our living room and I have not said one negative thing about the malls, pharmacies or other stores having their seasonal decorations out since Labor Day.  (Note: those who know me well will recall my previous rants about Christmas and the marketplace!) We all knew it was going to be a rugged Fall.  It’s been a trying year… but… here comes Christmas… finally Christmas and all the HOPE attached… and wow… does the world need some Christmas HOPE now more than ever.  Say it with me… “it’s about time!”

Hope has been around a long, long time!  If you are reading this… then you are alive and if you are alive… then there is hope to be embraced.  But just what is it that we hope for this Christmas? It’s probably worth making a list and checking it twice.

Nelson Mandela once said… “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”  He ought to know… as he was imprisoned for 27 years because of a virus called “Apartheid.’  He was there for a reason and he never gave up hope for the cause of freedom.  As a result, he spent five years being the President of South Africa and helped define democracy on the other side of the globe some never thought possible.

Hope always has its rewards.

The Hebrew people longed for a Messiah. Centuries went by.  Leaders came and went.  Something had to give, yet the Israelites never gave up hope.  And the Messiah did come.  His name was Jesus and his life’s story is at the center of this end-of-the-year celebration.  Little was known of his birth and early years until after the world affirmed his titles of Lord and Savior.  He was known to his friends as Jesus of Nazareth, Joseph’s, and Mary’s son… but to God’s faithful people his place in history was borne out of promise…that God would send a redeemer to save the people from their sin and brokenness and lead them into a new kind of life!  Is this not still our HOPE at Christmastime? 

Maybe… just maybe… this Christmas will be the best one of all… the merriest of all… more than a happy holiday sprinkled with some season’s greetings… the Christmas which desires in a deeper more personal way… peace on earth and good will to all… and that our HOPE for each other would include good health for a good life… and for us to recognize God’s great love for each and every one of us…

Faith matters.  It does and whether young or old… rich or poor… naughty or nice with everyone in between… we are counting the days for Christmas’s arrival and all the promise wrapped up in it… because of a HOPE which was fulfilled… in a person… Jesus the Christ… in a moment … reminding the world for all time and eternity… of God’s never-failing love.  May Christmas HOPE be high on your list this year!

The Rev.   Dr.   Brian   K.   Gigee   is   a   long-time resident of Pearland, having pastored four over the last four decades churches in Texas and Louisiana.     You can read more following his blogmurmuringsat   Comments   and / or questions can be sent to [email protected].

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