January 2020

Hope Remains

 

I was saying to my wife Jolene over the Christmas break that I just can’t go back to regular radio stations yet. I need some kind of Christmas music buffer before I let go of the holiday and get back into the regular rhythm of the year. Because when December 1st hits, I switch over to our local all-day Christmas radio station, and that’s what I listen to. I watch awful Christmas movies with ridiculous plots and acting. We eat sweet treats and relax on the couch more than normal. But once New Years hits, it’s just over. I gotta stop listening to Christmas music, stop watching the bad movies, and go back to the normal grit and grind of the year.

Or do I?

Before I was a Christian, this was certainly the case. Christmas was over, and it’d be this huge breakdown. As soon as we took the tree out of the house it was like, right…it’s over. I remember feeling so depressed in the early weeks of January, because all the joy, all the happiness, all the suspense was suddenly gone, until next Christmas.

Since becoming a Christian though, I can see that my attitude has changed. Sure, I still wish that the Christmas season persisted another month…or 11. I still wish that I didn’t feel the need for the Christmas buffer post new year. But the joy and happiness of Christmas, doesn’t leave me like it did when I was younger.

I was reminded afresh about the hope that we get in the baby Jesus. The hope that this act of God brings to me, my family, my church, and this world. And that message of hope is not just a Christmas message. We don’t just get Jesus for the month of December, then have the rest of the year to fend for ourselves. No, we get him for the other 11 months as well. Christmas is the arrival of that hope and joy, but afterwards, he’s here, he’s arrived. The hope we’d been waiting for is present. Granted, we’re 2000 years after that arrival. But we remind ourselves of the fact that Jesus is here – He doesn’t go away and come back each December. He is here, He has been here, and He will be here until the end of the age.

I hope you’ve had a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and it is my prayer that you carry the hope of Jesus with you throughout 2020.

Mike Sanders, Youth Director

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