The Celebration of Hope


The lady on the morning “news”, in her warmest and faux-sincere voice, said it sweetly: “This is the season of hope and joy” — and moved on quickly to tug at the heartstrings with some touching story of the downtrodden redeemed, a perfect production for this “holiday” season.

I don’t really think she understands the things of which she speaks.

I often wonder, when watching the scrupulously secular stars of media utter such banalities: what, exactly, is the basis of your “hope”? Is it the optimism of wishful thinking, the notion that in our oh-so-progressive world, things will simply get better and better, hurtling at light-speed toward an inevitable utopia? Is it the hope of new politics, new icons of power to guide us out of the wilderness of war and hatred with an enlightenment found nowhere else? Or is it simply the Big Lie, repeated ad infinitum until it becomes Truth, designed to deaden terrifying voices of angst and uncertainty which screech like harpies just beneath a consciousness deadened by frenzy, acquisitional obsession, and the myriad addictions which numb our fears and deaden our souls.

Yet it is a season of hope — or more precisely, a season to celebrate a perpetual and profound hope, not the emotional hopiate mainlined by the hopeless, dragged out like some green plastic tree from a dusty closet to adorn a meaningless holiday, no longer called “Christmas.”

So what is this true hope, this enduring and transformational power which we celebrate this season, yet abide in throughout the year?

It is the hope of true harmony, God and Man in right relation, the only source for Peace on Earth.

It is the hope, beyond reason, of forgiveness of the unforgivable, of acceptance of the rejected, of healing of sick and mortally wounded souls.

It is the hope of conquest of the demons which drive us, enslaving us in what masquerades as freedom.

It is the hope of deep joy, not mere shallow happiness.

It is the hope of a purpose beyond self-satisfaction, of a meaning beyond random chance, of direction for the lost and aimless.

It is about God becoming small that Man may become great, in Him.

It is about sacrificial love, the emptying of self, the death of pretense and a life of humble dependence.

It is about a Child who became Man so that men might reclaim the wonder and joy of children.

It is about infinite love, abounding mercy, endless grace, transformational power.

It is about Christ: humble in birth, extraordinary in life, sacrificial in death, glorious in resurrection.

It is about our hope — the only true and certain hope — the hope of those who know, and serve, and rely on Him, and His gentle hands which lift us up, and cherish us, and carry us home.

It is about Christmas, when Light entered the world and changed it forevermore.

That is our hope, and nothing less.

Have a most blessed and Merry Christmas, and may the peace of God rest upon you and yours.

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14 thoughts on “The Celebration of Hope

  1. Exactly put, dear Dr. Bob, exactly and eloquently stated. You’ve lifted my spirit this Christmas morn!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    Jess McMahon

  2. “The God, Who from of old established the heavens, lieth in a manger. He, Who showered the people with manna in the wilderness, feedeth on milk from the breasts.”
    — From the Royal 9th Hour of the Nativity

    Bless you, my friend.

  3. I know this is late, just really just getting back in the swing of things – Merry Christmas Dr. Bob. I hope you and your family had nothing but the best.

    V

  4. Another late arrival, but I am here to say this: That the deepest longing of my heart, for more than a few years, was answered this year by the only One who could handle the request. One so close to my heart has taken a step of faith in so quiet and private a manner that he lets me know only in quiet ways, but he lets me know. Our God, through Jesus Christ, heard my desperate cry earlier in the year and has answered my prayer. Praise Him!

  5. I have been busy dealing with the assault my heart perpetrated upon me, recovering therefrom, and have not been by in a while.

    I trust you had a great Christmas…and thank you for a great, great Christmas post.

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