Embracing Hope This Holiday Season

Dear Friend,

I love the holiday season and its glorious reminder of the Gospel, that God sent Jesus into the world to save us all from our sins. It’s also a time of year I reflect on how grateful I am for people like you, who partner with us in this mission to share the good news with those we serve.

The familiar story is so beautiful, and it never gets old!

“An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’” (Matthew 1:20,21)

That message of hope is so needed for everyone. The men, women and children who come to us in the midst of crisis are desperately in search of hope. Maybe the Christmas story is not top of mind for these neighbors — people who are experiencing homelessness, struggling with an addiction or trying to escape violence and abuse. But in the midst of crisis, the thing that we most need is hope.

Christmas reminds us that God’s love triumphs over all circumstances of life — most profoundly over our spiritual impoverishment. This is our hope and the hope of all those we serve, as we point men, women and children to the Savior of the world.

And because we have this hope, despite all the pressures and challenges we face, we can rejoice as we remember and honor Jesus Christ who was born to save us. This season and always, may we all celebrate Christmas in such a grand and gracious way that we point people to the born Savior, our Prince of Peace!

Patrick H. Vanderburgh, D.Min.