2020: The Hopes and Fears of All The Years...?

...the hopes and fears of all the years...

We don't know what all Pastor Phillip Brooks was thinking when he penned these words in 1868, but hopes and fears are universal emotions. They are powerful emotions. They are controlling emotions. But many times hope and fear are at odds with each other. 

What hope longs to embrace, fear tries to push just out of reach. - Stanley Martin. 

For all of us, (unless you happen to be a 102 years old) we are experiencing something different in 2020 than any of one us have ever lived through previously. That is, experiencing and celebrating Christmas while enduring a pandemic. For many, our hopes and fears are colliding, much like eternity collided with time many years ago in the village of Bethlehem. 

Remember that the Christmas season often stirs up grief and other difficult emotions in people. Given the current circumstances, these reactions may be more pronounced, in ourselves and in others. Rather than avoid these emotions, how can we be intentional in addressing them, and provide hope for one another? Here are a few things to consider.
People Are Relational: We believe that all people are relational in nature, and need opportunities to interact with each other. We believe in connect and loving our neighbors. Doing so this Christmas is more important than ever!

People Need To Hear: We believe people need to hear the G.o.s.p.e.l. Truth. For those who will listen, John 3:16 says that God's gift still remains the greatest gift ever given! God's Only Son Provides Everlasting Life. Hearing this truth this Christmas may have greater impact than ever before! 

People Need To Know: We believe that Christmastime may open people up to connecting with the Gospel story in a way they wouldn't other times of year. We see that people are looking for something more at Christmas than the frantic shopping spree can provide. This year, many will be avoiding the busy shopping centers and evaluating what is truly most valuable to them. We believe people need to know the true Jesus. 

People Will Be Effected: We believe that God actually placed us in this time and in this pandemic for a reason. This is and will be a time of lament, grief and loss for people all around the world. While we have anxieties, worries, and concerns to be sure, we have a hope and confidence secure in Jesus Christ.  We believe that while the pandemic may effect millions of peoples lives here on earth, we serve a Savior who gave himself to change all humanity's lives for eternity.  

Praise be to God. The hope and fears of all the years have met their solution in you Lord!
-Pastor Milo



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