Nativity Season Matins Ode 4:
“You, O Christ, are a rod from the root of Jesse, …which…sprang forth from the Virgin. “
“And a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6)
“And again Isaiah says: ‘There shall be a root of Jesse; and He, who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”(Romans 15:12)
Hope is a wonderful virtue, a life-giving gift. Hope brings us to seek gifts under the Christmas tree despite trying financial times. Hope motivates us to reach for the joys of life.
Whenever we lay our hope in Christ, it indicates that we have an expectation to receive those gifts that God has promised. We read God’s promise, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that who so ever believeth in Him should not parish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). We believe it, with the expectation that it be granted. We read in the Gospel of St. John that God gives us a rich and satisfying life, and we hope with the expectation that it be given to us.
Our hope in God transforms our outlook on life. We believe that “with God all things are possible”, despite the facts. Our expectation and honest belief is that a “better day” is coming despite difficult situations. Hope in God revives us and motivates us to experience life to its maximum extent. It supports us despite difficulties. We call upon God to bestow His hope. We believe in the promises of God that we read in the Bible, and rejoice in the fact that He fulfills them.
A meaningful life is the very hope that Jesus promises for those who follow Him. The first “step” to receive the benefits of genuine hope is straight forward: Follow Christ. Then seek God in the midst of your difficulties. Among the greatest promises in the Bible is that God is there for you; in your anguish, in your dismay, in your trials. Despite the circumstances God is there.
Occasionally, you may believe that hope has abandoned you in your difficulty. God has provided the manner to obtain hope in these situations. Pray. Call upon God to reveal hope to sustain you in your difficulty. Seek God’s promises in the Bible. Hope, with the awareness that God is with you. Trust the Living Hope, the promise of heaven and receive the gift of hope for Christmas.