Well my friends, I have mostly spent this Christmas in bed and the only thing I have drunk in excess is Lemsip! From Boxing Day onwards a few strains of the flu descended on the Clarke house and I know many people have been in the same situation. Tissues, sleep, rubbish tv, Lemsip, sleep, more Lemsip …
I have also not been sleeping due to all this, so it I have spent hours awake in the middle of the night, thinking about lots of random things. For example, the other night I was thinking about ‘Hope’ and I am planning on speaking on this topic at the weekend.
It all began when I was following a football match between Bristol City and footballing giants Manchester United. One commentator said, that Bristol might do well, but didn’t have a ‘hope’ of actually wining due to a strong Manchester United side full of players worth millions of pounds. You may know by now that Bristol City DID win that game, against all expectations and now Face Manchester City in the next round!
That got me thinking about our own lives and the times when it seems to be without hope. We very often have to hit rock bottom in order for something to change, don’t we? Then a person comes along and says or does something that brings fresh hope into our lives.
We probably hope for many things, but without any foundation our hope can sometimes feel like ‘pipe dreams’, or wishful thinking at best. As a Christian, I don’t stand on any wishy-washy pipe dream. I stand on the hope that has been talked about and debated for centuries, since before our own civilisation even began.
It is a hope that is felt, and one that makes both rational and emotional sense. It is shared by billions of other people on our planet. It tells me that nothing is in vain, that I am loved by the creator of the universe and crucially that there is nothing I, or anybody else, can do to sabotage that love. It is unconditionally given.
So, may you know, feel and remember this hope for yourself as you enter 2018 . We have so much to look forward to as a church this year! A new curate family, a mega weekend at Lee Abbey, lots of different and new ways of engaging with your faith journey.