Longing for Hope – Vicar’s weekly thought 8th Dec

Longing for Hope

Where does your hope come from, where does it lie? Or have you even given up on hope?

I hope not! They say hope is one of the things that eventually springs up in the human heart, even after years of being squashed down – rather like a dry seed that germinates after years of lying in a dark corner! The reason? I believe God has put hope in the human heart. But also that it is hope for something. I suddenly noticed, reading the famous Christmas passage again ‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light…’ [1] , how many hopes then get a mention! Hopes of: ‘enlarging’ of the people, of rejoicing, of harvest, of yokes being broken and burdens lifted, of oppressors being destroyed. This list of hopes speaks to my heart, I expect it does to yours too. But here’s the thing, the promise is that all those hopes rest on, yes, a child: ‘For unto us a child is born’ [2] . And a child through whom, God is with us no less (the meaning of the word ‘Immanuel’ as the angel explained to Joseph). This seems impossible. But I have found that a hope resting in this child Jesus is immensely powerful. As his Spirit moves among us, comes into our lives, we find genuine, deep steadfast hope arises – and then peace comes upon us sometimes even in the middle of great darkness (the bringer of peace will be at the centre our Christmas celebrations this year – so of this more later!). St Peter wrote, ‘pay close attention to what the prophets wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.’ [3] May He rise in your heart and so re-fire your hope. [1] Isaiah 9.2 [2] Isaiah 9.6 [3] 2 Peter 1.19