Now that we are past Thanksgiving, we are officially in Christmas celebration mode. Who is excited? There’s something incredible about Christmas- it’s kind of like a reward for finishing another challenging year of life. I’m really ready for Christmas this year- 2023 has been amazing and yet also one of the most difficult years of my life. I’m ready to hear the familiar music, sing familiar songs, see the Christmas decorations, and get back to the basics of the joy that the birth of Jesus has brought to the world.
One word that we hear mentioned often during the Christmas season is “hope.” Hope is a wonderful word that is loaded with optimism and it is wonderful to have our annual reminder of what hope means. Hope may be defined as various forms of “eager anticipation for a possible positive future outcome.” We hope things go well next year. We hope we can finally turn that corner, lose that weight, get that promotion, or maybe we simply hope we can keep going into the New Year.
For some, hope can sound like a curse. Proverbs 13:12 says that “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” It can be hard to see beyond a piled-up stack of disappointments and let downs. Hope truly is a double-edged sword, and the longer we live, the easier it is to set it aside for diminished expectations and an easier existence. But there is a better way. Let’s take time to re-evaluate and reprioritize our hopes. I’ve found that mine have been getting out of order recently and its time I brought them back in line.
One way to help us with this is to answer a simple, yet weighty question: “Of all your hopes, which one do you consider the most crucial?” If you had to hold on to one thing, just one thing, for meaning, what would that be? What is the one thing that brings purpose to your world and makes your life worth living? What is your one thing that must not fail?
This weekend we will look at what I consider to be the pinnacle, the climax, of all human history. Revelation 5 is our ultimate hope fulfilled through the appearance of Jesus Christ, the Lamb that was slain. I pray that as we study this chapter, which is a past view of a future reality, that our hearts will be filled with joyous hope and renewed determination to live for Christ today.
I invite you to join us this weekend as we study Revelation 5, our hope fulfilled. Our socially distanced service is Saturday afternoon at 3:30, and our Sunday morning service is at 10:15, where you can join us online if you can’t make it in person. We also have excellent Sunday School classes at 9 for all ages.
Have a great weekend and I look forward to pursuing Christ, Community, and the Great Commission Together with you soon!
-Pastor Nathan Rice