Three quarters of my HOPE faded

 The idea came to me when Sam and I started putting the lights up around the outside of the house. Every year there?s always been enough lights on the cable for us to outline the front of the house and continue on along the fence between us and our next door neighbour. Why not use that extra length of lights and write HOPE along the fence?

Why the word hope?
For a few reasons: for one it seemed to sum up how people were feeling. A vaccine was available with others on the way Hope was in the air. Maybe we could return to a more normal life. Maybe we could again hug our loved ones and not have to be fearful of each cough or shiver.
But mostly as it was the third week of November (yes that was early, but we had our reasons) and Christmas was just around the corner. We wanted to point to the hope that is found in Jesus. We wanted in a small way to proclaim that His Birth brought Hope to a dark world.
Due to the position of our house, I?d be beginning HOPE from the letter E and working my way along the fence. I was so enthusiastic about the idea, but what I hadn?t figured was the length of lights that we needed to write those four letters. I was only really able to get as far as the letter E. We had no other electric lights, so I solved the problem by finishing the word off with battery lights.
There it was HOPE shining brightly on the fence. Everyone who passed by would see it clearly, shining in the darkness. The darker it was the brighter HOPE would shine. Our neighbours know that our hope is in Jesus so the word would point to Him. Not to the vaccine (which we are grateful for) but to Jesus Christ who is the Only Hope for all of life and death.
I?m sure you?ve realized the problem with the lights. Batteries are an unreliable source of power. They do not last long. They fade and then die. Many times, we have looked outside and seen the E shining brightly but the HOP fading or completely out. We have had to change the batteries lots of times. HOP fades and goes out but E shines brightly.
We realize now that the HOPE on the fence doesn?t just proclaim Jesus, but it also asks a question. Here's the question it asks: What?s the source of your hope? Or put differently, what powers your hope?
I write this on New Years Day, a day which offers so much promise. Just last night when we were counting down the seconds we were filled with hope. We had such hope that 2021 would be better than 2020. As I woke this morning, I?m reminded that the only difference between today and yesterday is the change of date. If our hope is powered by the change from 0 to 1 (2020-2021) then our hope will soon fade and then die. You may already have come to that realization. You may already have felt the weakness of last nights hope and are fearful or uncertain about what lies ahead for you and your family. Our hope can fade fast. Our HOPE needs plugged into a greater source. Our hope needs to have its source in Jesus Christ. He is the only One who will see us through 2021 and beyond.
What is the source of your hope? Today would be a great day to connect your hope to Jesus Christ so that your HOPE might shine in the darkness and not fade and die.
Please get in touch with me, I?d love to help you think this through. Happy New Year, Andrew
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoicesFor yonder breaks a new and glorious morn'Fall on your knees, oh, hear the Angels' voicesOh, night divine, oh, night when Christ was born