Generally speaking, I would say everybody has had their hopes dashed at some time in their lives. A best friend that decided they didn’t want to be your friend anymore or a spouse chose someone else other than you. Your hope got dashed when you were in line for the promotion, but the job went to another…the raise or promised bonus was pathetically below expectations.
Election after election, as far back as I can remember, were all pregnant with hope, but what gets delivered is so far short of what was promised. Which may explain in part, the reason for only half of registered voters showing up at the polls. When people’s hopes are consistently “deferred” the heart gets sick (Proverbs 13:12). Hope is something we all desperately need and we certainly talk about it. After all we hear “I sure hope so” tacked on to the end of many conversations.
Christmas puts hope in play every single year. Even among those who have no part of Christ in their Christmas celebrations. The atmosphere of these Holydays, is charged with a strange magic, warmth, love, joy, and hope. The meaning of Christmas, no matter how far culture has drifted still rings with: “…good tidings of great joy which will be to all people… for there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:10-11, 14).
The hopes, the promises of this old creation have never delivered as promised, because they are centered on and in a broken humanity. Jeremiah said, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:7). Humanity needed a Savior that is a whole new man, a new creation, apart from the broken pipeline that keeps pumping out product, but arriving nowhere. Christ is the fountainhead of a brand new creation, a new man (Eph.2:15; Col.3:10; 2 Cor.5:17).
Christmas, God became a Man, to do what no other man could do. Christmas is a promise kept…“Emmanuel…God with us” is the foundation on which all other promises are inviolable.
Merry Christmas to all and let me end with Jeremiah again: “The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I hope in Him!” (Lam. 3:24).