Life is tough, whether it’s a family crisis, our nation’s problems that appear increasingly unsolvable, or a world filled with terrorism, superstorms and starvation. No wonder you keep trying everything possible to grasp that elusive feeling of hope. Yet if you’re honest, you also know it seems perpetually out of reach. That’s why it’s time to rethink hope in two significant ways. Stop thinking hope is something you find. And start experiencing how hope is a gift given to you through what God has done in a dirty stable long ago in a place far away.
You encounter people everyday who make you so mad you want to change them, others who stir up such deep compassion you want to help them and still others who are so intriguing you want to get to know them. But what can you realistically do when there are so many people and only one of you? Pray. It doesn’t necessarily have to be long – just make praying for others as much a part of your life as breathing in and out. And when God answers your prayers by telling you to do something – act!
After Gray Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, you have an opportunity on #GivingTuesday to make a huge difference to organizations that make a difference to people who are struggling. Why should you take the time to go online and give away some of your money? Quite simply, because you can. More to the point, because Jesus tells you that you are helping him when you help those in need. Perhaps most importantly, because Jesus has given you the privilege of caring for the poor and suffering regardless of your theological perspective, ideology or politics.
You want to share Jesus’ love, help someone who’s struggling and ensure the world reflects God’s justice. That’s why it’s time to say, “Lord, help me see what I can do right now!” If you do, you’ll discover that one thing God needs you to do that you can do with more passion, joy and love than anyone else. It may seem simple and small. Even easy. But it won’t be for those for whom you’re doing it. In fact, it may be the best thing they’ve experienced in a long time.
You have shared Your light through the birth of a child who brings Your love, Your forgiveness, Your justice, Your joy, Your hope and Your eternal life.
Too often, however, we lose sight of Your light in the bright glare of life. In the neon lights of stores trying to sell happiness. The car headlights taking us here and there in a frenzied hurry. The spotlights we try to shine on ourselves. And, even, the beautiful twinkling lights of this season.
Yet Your light is still here. Burning so brightly nothing can extinguish it, and beckoning us to come to it. And so we begin our journey to the manger, filled with expectant hope that comes from knowing we will be met by the light of the world, Jesus.