Our Missional Community Groups are one way we can give hope to other people. We believe District 2 had more hope after their time with the MC Group than they had before the group was there. We pray that the students at Cardinal Stritch will have more hope after they receive from the MC group. In Matthew 24:23 says, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).
Why did God leave the perfection of heaven to come to this dark world? Pastor Jay told us that the darkness was as overwhelming then as it is now. Deep in our hearts we know we need a savior, a Messiah. Unfortunately we sometimes look in the wrong places for our hope, for our rescue.
In Matthew 21:8-9 the people were shouting Hosanna! This was a desperate cry from the people. However, like now, the people wanted political rescue. Jesus wanted to rescue them and He wants to rescue us in a far deeper way than politically. Jesus’ hope rises up from the depth like a wellspring. Too often we want to be rescued by a man rather than by the Messiah. Our need goes far deeper in our souls. We all know people who are crying out. God wants us to love people so they will see Jesus in us. Mankind tends to look to very surface things to be our rescue while all along the answer is in the manger. Let’s not get bogged down by the tinsel of this season.
In Mark 2 Jesus was preaching and the people were flocking to Him. Picture yourself there, where Jesus is preaching the Word of God. You’re thankful you got in. All of a sudden, Jesus pauses and looks outside. Suddenly you hear things on the roof. A group of men got on the roof to lower their friend in to see Jesus. These men would do anything to help their friend get to Jesus. Let us not be so caught up in the tinsel that we don’t see the hurting people around us. Let’s always remember Jesus is the reason for the season, but also we need to remember the reason Jesus came in the first place. Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Hope is available to one and all through Jesus Christ. He fills our deepest need.
There are way too many people who don’t understand how much God loves them. Christmas is not about children or spending time with family and friends or parties. Christmas is the gift of hope, the gift of forgiveness, that’s what Christmas is all about. Mankind’s greatest need is eternal, to be right with our creator. If we know we’re spending forever with God we can know that what we’re going through right now is temporary. That is hope. When we know our God, our creator, we have hope. That’s what Christmas is.
God loves us so much and that’s why He let His Son go to the cross. Christmas is the simple truth that God responded to the sin of this world by being a God with us. Jesus is the only answer to our sin and the sin crated by this world. The virgin birth tells us that real hope is available to every single person who walks this earth. Everyone needs Jesus, the rich, the poor, the educated, the young, the old. When we’re apart from God, we don’t have the life God intended for us. Jesus rose from the grave, appeared to men and rose up to heaven. His journey is still not complete. It’s God’s will that no one should perish. Some reject Him but there is no one that God wants us to give up on. May the person who doesn’t know Christ see Him in your eyes. God didn’t give up on you or me; we can’t give up on anyone else.
If you or someone you know needs the healing hope of Jesus it’s remarkably simple:
1) Recognize your sin before God
2) Ask for His forgiveness
3) Then declare that Jesus’ death and resurrection merges in your heart.
Jesus’ final destination is your heart. We need to say yes or no to that. Jesus is offering each person on earth the greatest gift this year. The hope of heaven, that’s what Christmas is. It changes everything. We haven’t mastered the delivery system of this hope, however once it's presented to you all you have to do is ask and you will receive. Let this Christmas be the year that we put our faith in Jesus and offer it to those around us. The baby came to seek and save the lost. He came to die on the cross. He came to put up residence in each of our hearts!