Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent--the Sunday that specifically looks at hope. But what is hope? Christian hope is not the same as how many people use the word. They say, "I hope it doesn't rain," or "I hope I pass this test." That is not the hope we are talking about. Christian hope is so much more.
On Thanksgiving Day we offered a free dinner to anyone and everyone that wanted to sit down with us. Rich or poor, saint or sinner. We prepared enough food for at least 100 people. Fifty people showed up. Some people would look at that as a failure on our part. I don't. We knew the Lord had something in store for the food that was provided. It was our hope in the Lord that led us to fix the amount of food we did. So what happened? Well, our refrigerator gave out and we were forced to find a place to store the food overnight. Our local Fire department generously provided the space. Then on the next day we took the food to Manna House (a place in Newton that provides meals for those who need them every day. When our members showed up with the food they found out that the Mann House's refrigerator had gone crazy during the night and frozen all the food that they were going to use for the meal that day. As the food was brought in to them--turkey, ham, veggies, and deserts--they felt it was a gift from God (and it was!) Instead of being in dire straights as to what to do, God provided food for the hungry through our abundance.
Now, some would say that it was just a coincidence that our refrigerator died and the Manna House's refrigerator went crazy, but I know better. God is in control and made sure that the food would be used for His blessings to be shared (though it would have been nice not to have to kill our refrigerator to accomplish His will!) The hope we have in God's provision for us and for others was greatly rewarded. THAT is the hope that we have--not simply a wish for something--but a knowledge that God is in control and will work His will in and through us if we just let Him.
Let the true hope of God shine through YOU this Crhistmas!