The Weekly Word: Hope this Christmas
By Robert Williams, Lead Pastor at The Bridge Church
Remember when we all thought anything was going to be better than the year 2020? I ask that because as we approach Christmas this year, I can’t help but think about how hard this year has been.
Maybe it’s just me, but 2021 didn’t feel all that much better than the year before. It was just … hard!
Over the last year, I’ve watched our nation continue to divide itself in two. I’ve seen people put more faith in the man-made documents like the Constitution than they have in Scripture.
I’ve officiated the funeral of a 30-year-old man, obviously gone all too soon. I’ve watched kids get removed from abusive homes. I’ve listened to people cry over the loss of loved ones due to COVID and COVID isolation. I had to bury a dear friend’s husband. I’ve mourned with women who’ve been told that they might not ever have kids, or worse, that they definitely won’t ever be able to have children.
All things I never could’ve planned on, … things I never could’ve imagined, … things I never had any desire to experience.
And yet, as we approach Christmas, I have hope. I do! It’s true. That’s the thing about Jesus coming to earth.
Oftentimes, I fear we make the mistake of thinking that if we’re good people and believe in God, then everything on planet earth will just work out for us.
But that’s just not true. That’s definitely not what God promised. As a matter of fact, when Jesus spoke to the disciples He said that life would be even harder if they followed him (Matthew 10:16-18).
But each year at Christmas, no matter how hard life is or can be, we have hope. Or at least we can have hope. It came to us more than 2,000 years ago in the form of an innocent child, immaculately conceived, to show us what God’s love and grace is all about and to become the sacrifice for all of our sins. His name is Jesus.
And Isaiah prophesied about Him long before He was born writing, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (NIV) The last part of that first is where we can find hope. Immanuel. It means “God with us.”
I don’t know where you are at this Christmas. Maybe you’re in a great spot. Maybe 2021 was amazing for you. Maybe Christmas is just the icing on the cake.
Personally, though, I needed that reminder this year. That even though I have trouble in this world, God is with me. Not just through Jesus coming to earth, but through His Holy Spirit each and every day.
God never promised that we wouldn’t have valleys. But He did promise that He would be with us through those valleys. May He remind you of the same as you celebrate Christmas this year.
And if you are looking for a place to worship this Christmas, to learn and experience that kind of hope, we’d love to invite you to The Bridge Church here in Charles City on Christmas Eve. We’ll be having services at 3: p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 6 p.m.. It would be great have you celebrate a Candlelight Christmas Eve with us.
Above all, though, I pray you find hope in Him, no matter the situation you find yourself in this season. God Bless and Merry Christmas.