It’s been a rough year and it still is, for the most part – fear, sickness, lay-offs, panic, loss, grief, instability, uncertainty, despair and what not? Through all this ordeal, gloom and darkness Christmas comes as that “ray of Hope” that the world-at-large hasn’t warmed up enough to. But this time around we could and we should!
As harbingers of Hope, it’s imperative we take it to those who need it the most. Christmas is not just for the “faithful, joyful and triumphant” but the “faithless, joyless and defeated’ as Sam Allberry, a colleague at RZIM, writes. He goes on to say,
“Christmas is for the weary, for the messed-up, and for the broken.
If your life isn’t Instagrammable, Christmas is for you.
‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.’”
That’s precisely the purpose of this edition themed – Hope Unlimited!
From Raviji’s earlier Christmas Meditation, to Priyan Max Jeganathan’s “Finding Hope amidst Chaos” and Daniel (Bobby) Thejus’ “Christmas – An Antidote to Sadness” to Jacob Cheriyan’s take on the question, “Isn’t the object of Christian Hope just another Utopian idea of escape into the La La Land called Heaven?” all of the content is laden and woven with HOPE and aptly so.
After all in the words of Emily Dickinson, isn’t HOPE, “the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.” The authors here have brilliantly infused words into those tunes, to resonate forever in the lives of those that desperately need it this season and the New Year that we are pensively waiting to enter.
Christian Hope is often caricatured by sceptics as wishful thinking or optimism. The beloved evangelical theologian J.I.Packer says it well, “Optimism is a wish without warrant; Christian hope is a certainty, guaranteed by God himself. Optimism reflects ignorance as to whether good things will ever actually come. Christian hope expresses knowledge that every day of his life, and every moment beyond it, the believer can say with truth, on the basis of God’s own commitment, that the best is yet to come.”
Agents of Hope as Peter (1 Peter 3:15) refers to us, we ought to Unmask Hope, Disseminate Hope, Multiply Hope and Live-Out Hope creatively and consistently in walk and talk and at least faintly reflect Jesus Christ the Lord, the sure and single Anchor of Hope for all of humanity.
Wishing us all a Hope-filled and Engaging Christmas and New Year 2021!
Charles P Joseph
For the Engage Editorial Team