CHRISTMAS DAY 2019 MESSAGE - Warrnambool Uniting - by Rev Malcolm Frazer
Isaiah 52:7-10 Luke 2:1-14
“….and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God” - Isaiah 52:10
Hope is born at Christmas.
Throughout this year the question of HOPE has been at the forefront for many of us.And it has been a hope often hard to find.
Especially when our leaders fiddle while the earth burns.
And more and more people are feeling a sense of hopelessness in our world.
But sometimes we have to lose hope before we find ‘real hope’.
Which is where we are at this Christmas.
Old hopes are dying.
For centuries we have looked to THE ECONOMY to save us;
where we produce more and more stuff…
and where the Governments want us to buy more and more stuff……
to keep the sacred economy ticking over and expanding.
Cause getting more is what it’s all about.
But, after 170 years since the Industrial revolution began,
now we are beginning to see that we’ve stuffed it.
We can only keep exploiting this planet for so long before something breaks.
And now we are teetering on the brink.
Many of us don’t want to know it. Many don’t want to see it.
We want to hold onto our old hope. Because that is all we’ve ever known.
And if that hope goes, it seems there is no hope …….
Throughout the scriptures we read of empires and worlds crashing down. It’s a common theme throughout the Bible & in the history of civilisation.
Earths proud empires fade away. (Rule Brittania)
And as those worlds crumble it is THE END OF THE WORLD……. AS WE KNOW IT.
It looks like complete devastation. (Hopelessness).
Yet, …..the Good News is that in that darkest night,
“just when we thought all would be lost”,
we are drawn to the light of God.
Because it is into this situation that we open our eyes again
to see God’s light breaking through.
As we lose hope in all our false hopes,
in our desperation we reach in the dark for real hope.
So hope is born.
In the most unexpected place.
In the One in whom our true hope is found.
That is the message of Christmas.
God birthing hope in a time of hopelessness.
God’s hope. “If” we are able to let go of our old hopes….
and live again in the life that is real.
It’s the same message as Easter.
Where through that cross,
the cross of death and desolation and despair,
God brings a new hope, in Jesus………
………… raised from the dead.
That unexpected intervention of God.
Right out of left field. From our God who has not given up on His world and His people.
Though we’ve been stupid, destructive, evil, and so self centred.
Though we’ve brought it all down on ourselves, and others and the planet.
God still reaches out ……to us to draw us into His salvation.
So there is hope for us all.
And hope for our planet.
While all other hopes are fading……
our one true hope is always in the God who made us and who stands by us,
to such an extent that He would even be born among us,
and die for us,
and raise us again with Him…..to new life.
In Jesus our hope is born. AMEN.
Jesus, as our old hopes come crumbling down
Help us to find our true hope in you.
No matter what happens in our personal lives
and our corporate world,
You are the rock that is our real hope
for ourselves and for all generations.
And in this hope help us to work with you for real change in our world.
In the name of Jesus, Saviour of the world. Amen.