PASTOR'S CORNER - Christmas gives us hope
December 20, 2018
Good morning or afternoon, or evening where ever you may be. I decided this morning to sit down and write a little about Christmas and hope. The two words are very definitely connected.
Christmas gives me hope. I need hope today. Some people think that in order to be able to talk to someone about Jesus or Christmas you must be a pastor or an elder, at least a deacon, because people have real hard questions about Jesus.
Well, I am none of those things as I sit at this computer this morning. I am a person who loves God. I know I need Him. He is the one who gives hope. I have read my Bible more than once through, and I recognize my life is hopeless without Him. I start in the beginning with Adam and Eve, and I wonder as a parent how could I live knowing I messed up every one of my children’s lives and left them without hope -- except God promised to make it better.
My sin opened the door for their sin and so on. Except that God made a promise to give hope, through Jesus in the middle of what could have been the worst curse ever. Genesis 3:15 “I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” For many years, I was confused how this hostility between serpents and men was taking away my hope for my children. I understand hostility, but I didn’t understand the striking the head and heel until I understood what Jesus had done. He stomped the head of the serpent to give us hope. To make it all right again. He did this when people who should have been watching were distracted. John 3:14-18: Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.” “For God loved the world in this way He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, ]but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.”
God was using His Word and His symbols to make it clear. He helped them to remember, He helped them, and us, to see He must be “lifted up” so people can see the image of hope. He told Adam there would be hope -- a Savior – and the cost of hope was not the demands of law, because that would be obedience and not hope. Hope comes from belief. Hope comes as we are not condemned. Hope comes by looking forward in belief. Hope is centered in God being for us and not against us.
Jesus is my hope. Everywhere He is, there is hope. Jesus is our salvation; we need to remember this at Christmas. He is the one who took Adam’s sin and made it forgiven. As a parent who sinned, I made mistakes too, but I sinned, I made mistakes, too, but I sinned. My sins are forgiven in Jesus and that is my hope. Not condemned any more but, because of Jesus, hopeful. My hope and yours is more than an attitude; it is based in fact. Because of what Jesus has done we have hope!
Merry Christmas! You can be forgiven, just believe and receive your forgiveness.
Mike Polley is former pastor of Valley Bible Church in Shafter.