(Welcome to our Christmas season for Internet Church. Enjoy and have a wonderful and rich Merry Christmas.)
Hope and Fear seem diametrically opposed to each other don’t they? Some would say “we hope for the best and fear the worst.”
Well, for our purposes, they belong together.
We human beings are contradictions within ourselves. We have many hopes and we have many fears that those hopes will not be met.
Sounds like we are chasing our tails, doesn’t it?
In the beloved Christmas carol O Little Town of Bethlehem we find this phrase:
The hopes and fears
of all the years
are met in Thee tonight.
The coming of the Messiah, the one who will deliver, was foretold for many centuries before the birth of Christ actually happened. For the children of Israel, during their wandering in the desert for forty years, I’m sure many of the old-timers in that great throng invoked this prophesy many times and prayed out “Come promised one and deliver us from our woes.”
The hope we all seek is for redemption. We seek a fixer for our woes. We want reconciliation, forgiveness, and a benefit plan that is the ultimate.
That is our hope.
What we fear is hardship, sadness, despair, loss and lack.
Do you see how the coming of Christ to Bethlehem meets both our hopes and fears? Do you see the hope mixed with our fears being met in the Christ of the manger?
He never promised a quick fix, a panacea that works overnight. However, in the long run, He wins. We win with Christ, our champion riding in on a white steed, flaming sword in hand at the end of the age.
Meanwhile … we hang onto hope.
We trust his promises. What are they?
I will never leave you or forsake you.
I have called you by name. You are mine.
That sounds like a great place to store my fears. How about you?
P Michael Biggs
One Word at a Time