This Advent at Christ Church, as we run up to Christmas, we're asking the question, What is your hope?
It's a question that can be answered on many levels: whether it's your expectation of spending time with family this Christmas, your desire to receive the latest gadget as a present, or hope for snow.
But in a wider perspective, what are your hopes for the future? What kind of future do you dream of?
Many of us have hopes that are highly speculative: we live in an age where we're encouraged to live and aspire to increasingly fantastical dreams, and also to be the directors and architects of our own hopes. But when these hopes are shattered by circumstances – when others destroy them or we feel we've failed - we're left laid low. Setting our hopes on things that can be lost will always lead to disappointment.
But there are people who, despite their circumstances, their struggles, failures and pains, remain hopeful. In those dark places, even just a chink of true light is enough to motivate. How can we be those people?
In our preparations for Christmas we're exploring what difference the coming of Jesus – both at his birth and when he returns - makes to our lives now. What difference does it make to have the hope of Christ?
We'll be looking at how the prophet Isaiah looked forward in hope, and how Matthew's Gospel shows us the fulfilment of that hope, pointing forward to what is still to come.
Join us for any of our Sunday services during Advent (27 Nov – 18 Dec) to find a hope that lasts.
Also we're recommending 'Advent for Everyone; a Journey through Matthew' by Tom Wright as our book for Advent – you can get it at the church bookstall and here.