The New Year is upon us. The dawning of a new year is usually accompanied b the (re)kindling of hope in our heart. Perhaps there is something about the beginning of a new year which brings hope by presenting opportunities to start over again. Then again it may be that last year was so fraught with negative experiences, broken dreams and shattered hopes that one can only hope for a better year. Whatever the causes or reasons, the arrival of a new year does usher in a sense of hope. This is a good thing.
Our faith is one that is grounded in hope. It is not the hope that comes simply with the birth of a new year. The hope we have is gifted to us in the INCARNATION – the word made flesh. The hope we have in Christ is not the type that is based on the dawning of a new era or the expectation of change from bad experiences. Nor yet is our hope wishful thinking, positive thinking or baseless optimism. Rather, ours is a sure and certain hope that comes from God. It is not subjected to the vagaries of life and vicissitude of events. This hope is seen in God’s promises in the pages of the bible, presented to the world in a babe lying in a manger and sealed on the cross by the atoning and redemptive death of our Saviour and Lord, Jesus the Christ. This hope we have in Christ is our assurance in times of uncertainty, our strength in weakness, our light in darkness, our peace in turmoil and our joy in life. This living hope is kept kindled not by our strenuous efforts but by God’s grace.