Overview: 4 characters in the Christmas story exemplify hope, not always in a way
Elizabeth – John the Baptist’s mother (Luke 1: 5 – 25)- Can we talk ourselves into hope? Should we? A dream or a desire can seem long over or dead. Elizabeth didn’t have hope until the angel appeared. But God still arrived and provided hope.
Mary – Mother of Jesus (Luke 1:26-38)- Living her ordinary life, an angel shows up.Hope came and upended an ordinary, common life. For Mary, the hope is complicated.The beautiful fulfillment of God’s promise bringing promise, brought complication being an unwed pregnant woman in that time. But this hope was part of God’s plan for Mary’s life, and brought much blessing.
The Shepherds (Luke 2:8-14)- There was a group of shepherds were over the hill in darkness. Sometimes we feel we are over there, over the hill in darkness. The angels appeared God shows up for those over the hill, the forgotten.
Simeon (Luke 2:25-32)– Sometimes our greatest hope feels like dying and going to heaven. But that shouldn’t be our greatest hope as Christians. It should be heaven coming down, heaven coming into us. The hope is Jesus will show up now.
Hope is the elusive, invisible thing that we sometimes want it to be a constant;where hope can be abashed more than fulfilled. Looking at this season, we may findourselves more hopeless than hopeful. The Christmas advent season is about waking up and realizing that there is hope, and that Jesus can move in our life to give us up.It is not something that we can trick ourselves into or hype ourselves into believing we are hopeful. As we live, we produce things. The more activity, the more that isproduced. The culture that we live in, doesn’t produce hope; it produces cynicism, a defeatist mindset, and fatalism. Our culture has been heightened, it has produced more during the events of this past and current season. The four charactersmentioned, they were going about life. But then something tangible showed up,producing hope. It wasn’t something that they had to talk themselves into. Theseason of advent is to tune into that birdsong and allow us to be filled with the possibility of hope.