Pastor Brian Gilroy,
High Prairie Church of the Nazarene
Hope it is what drives us to try, to succeed, to achieve. Without hope, life is meaningless, without purpose and often debilitating. With hope, a person can face the most formidable foe. With hope, there is not a challenge or mountain too great to conquer. We all need hope.
However, there is a significant difference between true hope and false hope. True hope inspires and satisfies in an amazing way while false hope only succeeds in deceiving us.
In our desire to achieve a satisfying hope, we are often deceived. Society has a way of encouraging us to create our own hope. Society will encourage us to believe from an early age that only you can make your dreams come true. This is an inspiring thought or mantra for some but a devastating motto for others. Reality tells us that we live in a society that does not see everyone as an equal. The government tries to regulate this, sports organizations attempt to promote it and, yet it will only change when our community leaders, parents and even each one of us believe it and practice it.
Many of our role models have sadly dropped the ball when it comes to a credible witness of the ethics or role modeling that will positively impact our society. All our social media outcry will inevitably fall upon deaf ears unless we are willing to pay the price to live up and live out the ideals that we often promote as the ideals that will make it a better society to live in.
We need to change. Change occurs when we have a real hope that transforms us and the way we live each precious day we have. It leads me to the topic of this article.
True hope is based upon fact and not fiction. We celebrate the four Sundays before Christmas to remind us that the hope of a Christian is based upon fact. Jesus Christ, our Saviour, did enter into this world as a child born of a virgin named Mary. He was born in a stable in Bethlehem and then began a life like ours eventually freely allowing Himself to be sacrificed on the Cross of Calvary to give us hope. Hope of forgiveness; hope of restoration in our relationship with God; hope for healing from the pain inflicted by our fellow humans; hope to face each day and a purpose for getting up in the morning.
A hope that transcends time as our hope is not only for this life but for all eternity. A hope that says that you do not have to be perfect or the best but reminds us that everyone is equal in the eyes of God. He lovingly made each of us; He longs to be in a vibrant relationship with each of us; but He will not force you to enter into this relationship. He wants you to want to enter into this relationship with him.
We choose many things in life – who we hang out with; what sports we play; where we will live; our career paths; who we date or marry and many other decisions. Some we are pleased with and some we regret bitterly.
Advent reminds us to prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord. Today, you have the choice to prepare your heart for the false hope of anything but a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ or prepare your heart for the true hope of Christmas and beyond.
Remember, Christmas begins with Christ. God will honour your choice. Your role modeling or mentoring will display your choice to the world well beyond what your voice may speak.
Will you promote a false hope or a true hope in High Prairie and Big Lakes County?