Merry Christmas 2022

So you are looking back at the train wreck of 2022 and wondering what, if anything, you can draw from it for which you can be thankful. Well, the mere fact that you’re wondering is celebration enough. You are still alive. You are still possessed of that magical quality that separates man from the animals – the ability to think. There are friends whose company you cherish. And most of all there are still thoughts of happiness past and present and hope for happiness ahead. In other words, shake the dust of 2022 from your cloak and embrace 2023 unfettered by dismay, bitterness or thoughts of revenge. What makes us better is hope and the determination to make those hopes real.

And – in case you forgot – the existence of Christmas is due to the birth of Jesus Christ over two thousand years ago in Bethlehem – the very definition of hope. The term “Christmas” is derived from the Greek/Hebrew translation for “Christes” or “Messiah” or “anointed one” joined with the Latin term “messe” meaning “mass” and reflecting a time of celebration of a eucharist – a gathering at which there is “breaking of bread and drinking of wine”. (The Consecration during the Mass reflects that celebration when the priest breaks the host and sips the wine and then shares it with the congregation.) The birth of the Messiah who was willing to forgive our sins, direct us on the path to salvation, and sacrificed His all to the Crucifixion, death and resurrection is the very definition of hope.

Darkness comes. In the middle of it, the future looks blank. The temptation to quit is huge. Don’t. You are in good company… You will argue with yourself that there is no way forward. But with God, nothing is impossible. He has more ropes and ladders and tunnels out of pits than you can conceive. Wait. Pray without ceasing. Hope.”

John Piper

There is no better time than now to recast your future with the gift of hope.