Today we light the first Advent candle. This represents HOPE which the dictionary defines as, “grounds for believing that something good may happen”.

This year many people all over the world are struggling to find hope as the ground shifts beneath their feet and the future looks uncertain. But the hope we have as Christians is not a vague “I’ll hope for the best”. It is a hope deeply rooted in a faithful God who always fulfils His promises.

The Old Testament prophesied that a saviour would be born. In the New Testament Matthew tells us “there were 14 generations in all from Abraham to David, 14 from David to the exile to Babylon, and 14 from the exile to the Messiah”. It was a long wait, but the prophecy was fulfilled through Jesus’ birth in the most unexpected of places – a stable, with the most unusual witnesses – angels, shepherds and wisemen.

Over 2,000 years ago the Christmas story fulfilled the hopes of many and the baby born – now Jesus the risen Lord – continues to give us hope in this broken world. And He’s still present in the most unexpected of places. And He still appears to the most unusual witnesses.

We pray that you will experience Jesus where you are; He will fill you with His love in a way that gives you hope everlasting and you will share that hope with those around you.

Angela Hopper
Chair of Trustees