What is hope? Modern culture tells us it is a “maybe,” a kind of unsure optimism. But in
Scripture, hope is an indication of certainty. “Hope” means “a strong and confident
As many of us watch the news, both from our own country as well as other places in the
world, we can’t help but be overcome with an array of emotions from sadness to anger
to unbelief at what we see. The seemingly constant reports of violence have just
become the new norm.
As I think about this Advent, I’m reminded of that star that shone over Bethlehem and
central Israel to guide the way of those on their way to see the Christ child. That area
that is a beacon of hope for many Christians today is a particularly dangerous area of
Israel. The threat of violence and conflict is constant and unfortunately normal. There
are children killed before they’ve had a chance to experience life. And the psychological
effects on the children who live there and see and hear the fighting is devastating.
“Flashbacks, nightmares, agoraphobia: even children are not spared from the
repercussions of war,” UNICEF lamented after conducting a study about children living
in the Gaza Strip, another area of contention.
We know that war and violence were very real and present 2000 years ago in this same
area. And yet our ancestors of our faith lived in hope. They firmly believed that God
would deliver those who were faithful. They knew how important children and those
unable to care for themselves were important to God.
The fighting and hurting can make us lose sight of the good that’s happening around us.
The healings. The restored lives. God is working everyday. May it be our hope and our
prayer today that hearts in this region will turn and that the children in these war torn
areas can be given a chance. May it be so.
— Michael Williams