Thursday, 20 December 2018

Christmas: a future with hope in Jesus Christ

An address given to St Andrew's High School, Croydon at the Christmas Carol Service in St Andrew's Church


The gift of something very wonderful is given at Christmas.

As we celebrate the birth of Christ we are given the gift of hope, and we are assured that our future is secure in God’s purposes and love.

The Nativity from the
Reredos of the Minster Church of St John the Baptist,
When a baby is born all seems so fragile. They’re tiny! They are totally dependent on others for care, warmth, food and support. When love is added to the mix they have the chance to thrive and grow.

Without being able to say anything - beyond crying - a baby speaks of the future, and not the past; baby speaks of hope and not despair.

This is the gift of God to us: revealed in a tiny baby, who is laid in an animals’ feeding trough.

When I see Jesus Christ lying in the manger, I see my hope and my future: I see God’s life and love.

This child is both our hope and our future.

Mary nurtured this hope and future in her womb, and Joseph tended him with her when he was born. Shepherds rushed to Bethlehem because of this hope. The Magi, wise seekers after truth, invested time and money in travelling on a long, perilous journey because of this hope.

Followers of Jesus today place their hope in God’s future because God has not abandoned hope in us; God has a future for us: why else give us the gift of His Son?

This is at the heart of the Christmas message of the birth of Christ: all humanity, men, women, young people and children, can have hope and a future that is not subject to the vagaries and whims of human beings but in God.

God does not give up on us; let’s not give up on him.

And this is where the challenge lies for you and for me this Christmas.

The challenge is to find - for the first time or to find afresh - where true hope and a fulfilled future lies.

The celebration of Christmas and the proclamation of the Gospel which this church and your school declares, is that Jesus Christ is the light of the world, the hope and the future of humanity. In a changing, confusing world we can place all our hopes and fears in Jesus Christ, as we look to the future, a future embraced in God’s love.

© Andrew Bishop, 2018

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