As we reflect on the year that has past we cannot help to turn our minds to some of the big stories that have dominated the last year. Politics is changing both at home and abroad. We are still Brexiting and our newspapers are dominated by stories of sleaze, abuse, corruption, uncertainty, immigration, migration, war and genocide. We might well ask the question, what hope is there for us, our families, our nation and our world?
Of course, a world in a mess is not a new and unusual occurrence! At that very first Christmas the world was a mess too. For the people of Israel, living under unwelcome and brutal Roman rule and oppression, the world was a mess. For the people of God living under such circumstances the hope provided by ancient prophecies of a new type of King were a distant memory. The hope of a new era, a fresh start, of God acting in a new and different way were dulled and hushed by the fear and pressure of life.
It’s into that world that Jesus came. The king of the whole world, the one foretold by prophets many years before, the Prince of Peace, the bringer of hope, had entered the world. A tiny baby, born in a barn, born under the stigma of illegitimacy, born in an obscure backwater of the Roman Empire, but born to be the saviour of the world. Born to bring hope to a broken world.
As we celebrate Christmas this year, Jesus is still able to bring hope to our world. No matter how messy the world may seem, no matter how messy our lives may seem, Jesus is still the King of the world, and He’s still the Prince of Peace, and can be for you and our world the bringer of hope with the promise of a better tomorrow for those who follow and trust in him.
That same Jesus enters our lives like he entered that first barn. He enters into the mess and catches us off guard. He comes to shine light in the darkness and bring hope to us all. So as we celebrate Christmas this year, may we experience his hope as we open ourselves afresh to Jesus, as the carol O Little Town of Bethlehem says ‘O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray; cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today’.
With our love and prayers for a very happy Christmas,
Tim & Kate
Posted on Thursday, 14th December 2017