This Advent has found me looking deeper into the often used themes of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. It never seems to matter how much we study and read God’s Scriptures, there is always another treasure to be found; at least this is my experience! Maybe my mind is slowing up , but this Advent was when I discovered the treasure that three of our regular, much loved advent themes are to be found in the list of ‘fruits of the Spirit’ in Galatians Chapter 5: verses 22-25. I have read this scripture many times in the years of ministry but this year was as if for the very first time! I had an epiphany ! Love, Joy and Peace grow within our hearts and live through the grace of God’s Spirit. In John 14.16 we can live in hope, because Jesus promises each of us, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate(the Holy Spirit), to be with You forever”‘ and so I conclude because of this promise, we can experience living Hope. This Hope is our blessed hope, for it develops and grows in strength and volume as we live deeper and more trusting in God. Paul wrote in Romans 15:verse 13b : ‘ May you abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit’. If this Christmas finds you adrift with little or no hope, call on the Lord to fill you afresh with His Holy Spirit. Make this your one desire for this Christmas and I will pray that the God of Hope fills you with all joy and peace.
In the lovely words of ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem” all humanity’s hopes and fears are met in the baby born on that first Christmas night so long ago. Give over to Jesus our Lord, all your hopes and all your fears this Christmas . He has promised to take on our burdens and set us free from fear because’ His perfect love casts out all fear. Make Christmas 2019 the year when you allowed the God in Christ Jesus into your heart with His perfect love. Hope is very near, it is here through our Lord and Saviour!