24 Dec Hope
Read Lamentations 3:22-24
Thought for the Day: My hope is in God!
The call of pastoral ministry means being with families during times of joy like the birth of a new baby as well as grief like the death of a loved one. Pastors lead worship services on weekends, for special occasions (like Christmas Eve or a wedding), as well as when families experience loss. Every memorial service is a reminder that our ultimate hope is in God. Sometimes we grieve for loved ones who have lived long lives, while at other times we grieve for those whose lives have been cut far too short. In the end, whenever we grieve the loss of a loved one, we reminder ourselves that life in this world, as well as the things of this world, are temporary. The Hope of Christmas has nothing to do with earthly things. Only God and His love endure forever!
The Prophet Jeremiah dealt with profound loss. The people of Judah faced a tragic reality – enemy armies had devastated the city of Jerusalem and now it lay in ruins. As Jeremiah grieved and dealt with a profound sense of loss, he remembered that his hope was ultimately grounded in God, not his beloved city. He wrote: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.”
As we conclude this year’s Christmas season, many of us face disappointment while others are dealing with grief. Whether we have said goodbye to a loved one or are struggling with how different life is from our expectations, it is important to place our trust in the One who is eternal. Being honest about grief and disappointment is necessary if we are going to experience healing. If we come to Christmas Eve only upset and frustrated over loss, we miss what never changes: No matter what disappointment or grief any of us has had to face, like Jeremiah we will discover that God’s steadfast love and mercy never end. For this reason, no matter what is happening in our life, our hope is always in God!
In Christ’s Love,
Pastors Stan and David