Every Day Faith - December 2020: Jesus – Light and Hope For Our World

banner b_englishImagine the baby. The mother and aunt already know He’s beyond special. The confirmations keep showing up. Old Testament prophecies. Joseph’s dream. Shepherds instructed by an angelic, heavenly visitation. Magi arriving with all manner of precious gifts to greet the One.

We all imagine the possibilities bound into these wee bundles when they arrive; but very few were savvy to the singular majesty of this particular birth. Talk about special. Talk about a message of Hope.

The world was in turmoil. Governments were in the grips of tyrants. Uncertainty ruled. But in the visage of this beautiful baby boy, everyone who witnessed it must have sensed something special. A peace? A light, perhaps. This was the hand of God thrust into the wicked and impoverished affairs of humanity to reveal, not a curse, but the Gift. God’s response to His wayward creation was to give. Not only to give, but to give the very best!

2020 has been a year beset with both grief and hope. Few in our culture, in our generation, have been untouched by some sense that there is much more going on than what we alone can comprehend. Something is happening. Something big. Something bursting with hope. These are catalytic days, ripe with the sense of God. Really, how many of us, even a few years ago, would have imagined today’s conversations? “Who is God?” “What is Christianity?” “Why is there such a profound and seemingly explosive level of cultural, political and social division?” Everybody knows something’s afoot.

We who serve Christ know that never has there ever been a more opportune time than now to acknowledge and celebrate our oneness in Christ, and to humbly and prayerfully  submit to His work in our hearts and lives. By our example—recognizing divisions and the power of unity in diversity—we bring light. We show the world that there is hope. Through the faithful He is delivering a message of eternal hope. Eternal hope. Let that sink in. The greatest personal fear for the vast majority of humanity is uncertainty about the future, most especially, the uncertainty of what happens after death. We have the answer. We have hope to hold. Hope to give.

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Pray

December1Father, what joy we have as we recall and celebrate that pivotal event—the nativity of our Lord and Saviour. He arrived in the most fragile form of human expression—a baby. But not just any baby. The Child who is the Light and Hope of our world. A baby who grew up to be the Master and a most masterful Teacher—living and demonstrating the difference between merely enduring division and celebrating diversity.

Father, we are not ignorant of the times. We heard Your call to greater unity as an intergenerational and culturally diverse family. We value everyone. Our shared Pentecostal experience brings together all generations and cultures. We are committed to responding to the prayer of Jesus to be brought to complete unity, so that the world will know that the Father has sent Him. It is Your heart to unify—to bring together the broken, the misguided, the lost. To bring hope and a sense of certainty to not only our lives, but the lives of those whom God brings into our daily orbits.

Help us to be not only desirous but faithful also, to speak words of hope in season, and out—to let a worried world know that in the terror of the storm, there is a Hand that rules over its power.


We do this by following your guidance to be empathetic to the needs of others and to retain a spirit of forgiveness for those who have offended us, in the exact manner that You forgive us for our many failures. Help us to submit to Your heart as revealed in Christ’s example.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Image: iStock




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Read

Psalm 42:5, NIV—“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

Jeremiah 33:14, NIV—“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.’”

Luke 2:27-32, NIV—“Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people: a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’”

1 Corinthians 15:19-22, NIV—“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”

Romans 3:22, NIV—“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile...”

1 Peter 1:3, NIV—“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...”

2 Corinthians 1:19-22, NIV—“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”


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