The New Year always brings with it a renewal of hope. Hope that things will be different this year. Hope that things can’t be as bad as last year.

New year’s resolutions. The days starting to get longer. And this year, a vaccine programme slowly rolling its way through the population. Perhaps the end is in sight?

We’ve got used to hope being an elusive thing over the last year. Every time we thought things were getting better, back we went into another lockdown. Hope felt quite often like little more than good feelings, naïve optimism, blind faith.

But that’s not at all how Jesus talked about hope. In the Bible, we read not about an ambiguous or elusive hope, but a confident hope. Sure and certain. More like an expectation, than a wish.

And that’s because the hope that Jesus offers isn’t grounded in what might happen, but something that’s already happened.

If we want concrete grounds for hope, we need look no further than the Christmas story.
The Christmas message isn’t just for December, it’s true all year round: that in Jesus, God has come to save us from our shortcomings.

The hope Jesus offers isn’t reliant on the wisdom of our politicians or the breakthroughs of our scientists. It’s not dependent on our goodness or our organisation.

It’s a hope that’s not dependent on us at all: but on Jesus’ accomplishment in living among us and dying in our place.

If we’re in need of hope this year, let’s look to the God who loves us, who came to meet us in his Son, and find a hope that’s not elusive: a hope we can rely on.