Where, hand on heart, can you say you have found hope? Where and when has it been renewed?
I suspect the classic moments of New Year resolutions are not often firm ground for rebuilding hope! Looking round this congregation after many years, hand on heart I can say that many of you still tell me of moments of encounter with the Lord himself which have most changed your life and heart, have given hope often through many years. They may actually be quite small moments, but their effect is very long-lasting indeed and you remember them! As Jesus began his ministry at his baptism, do you notice how few words his Father in heaven had to speak over him? “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy”  . Heaven has opened, and the words are few, but bring great long-term effects! (not that Jesus didn’t spend many more times listening to his Father beyond that!). St Paul writes, ‘So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.’  I too have found my hope renewed for real when I walk in relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ. May we all find ways to do this in 2020.
 Matthew 3.17  Romans 5.11