Last Sunday, the class I was teaching finished a journey through Ephesians. As we looked at the last four verses, I posed this question to the group: What one word would you bless a friend, a spiritual sibling, or Bethany Church with this Christmas season?
My one-word blessing for us this season is HOPE. We have heard this word quite a bit this year and we have every reason to HOPE as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus as well as anticipate a new year dawning.
Let’s start with a common definition of HOPE. HOPE is the confident expectation that what someone has promised or decided will in fact take place. If we think something might take place or simply dream it could happen, that is a wish. HOPE stakes its claim on the trustworthiness and ability of the one making the promise. We HOPE because we are confident the promise will come through.
I bless us with HOPE. Our Lord is with us and He will lead us to see His kingdom more fully manifested in our midst. He has given us good leadership and good relationships at this time in our church life. He has prepared an interim pastor for us. He is preparing the heart of a new pastor for us, even as He is preparing our hearts to receive him. In the new season of ministry, we will have the opportunity to do more ministries in His Name and in His power. I believe we have every reason to be HOPEful as we move through this Christmas season.
So I bless us with HOPE. With Paul, I am confident that He who began a good work in us will see it through to its full end in the day of Christ Jesus. May the HOPE of Christ fill you with all contentment, peace, and joy as we minister together.