I love all things Christmas. 😀
The lights and music. The way everyone seems to be a bit more cheerful and open. The formal gatherings and family time spent enjoying the traditions unique to us. (Going to see a gingerbread house display, eating Ferry Pudding and opening one gift on Christmas Eve among them :))
But there’s something else I’ve been thinking about this December season.
There are those that amid all the gift buying and decorating and baking, who are wondering about the meaning of Christmas.
Hollywood often addresses this in the their holiday films. What is the meaning of Christmas and by the way, what’s the meaning of life?
But their answers are shallow and give a vague concept based on a feeling of love and goodwill. I’m afraid no one ever explained to them that feelings change. All. The. Time.
That kind of answer gives me no security that in hardships, I’ll have nothing to fear and something to cling on to.
Or even in the good seasons of life this answer gives me no purpose to live for.
And there are others who don’t even have to celebrate Christmas, yet still have these questions. When life seems like nothing but hardship and struggle, is there hope?
And The Answer Is...
I’m reminded again every time this season rolls around, that we’ve freely been given the answer people seek, the hope that people need. (and not just at Christmas time, but through the whole year!)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3
“Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” 1 Peter 1:21
I made a new friend this year, such a dear girl, who surprisingly one day opened up to me and shared about some of the struggles and hardships happening in her life.
It struck me of a sudden that I hadn’t seen before the deep need, the plea of this friend asking for hope. Asking for something she could cling to, because right now, life is hard.
So we talked about the gospel that night.
She’d never heard someone explain it before and had no idea what salvation really meant. Without salvation, we have no hope for life and of life in eternity to come.
Clarification: When I’m talking about hope, I don’t mean like the “I wish this would happen” kind of hope. Like, “I hope it snows for Christmas this year”. That’s a wish for snow without being certain that it will happen.
Hope is expecting, knowing, believing in what God (Who cannot lie) says. (Titus 1:2 “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.”) This hope is sure and steadfast, an anchor for our souls. (Heb. 6:19)
Who in your life needs this hope? (1 Peter 3:15)
Write to Share Hope
So as I’ve been thinking about the Christmas season, and the way Christ provides us hope, I’ve been thinking about how that flows over into my writing.
We have the chance to reach more than those we know face to face with the hope that is in us. #writetosharehope
Right now I can only think of the authors who have joined the ranks and are writing to share hope. 🙂
But favortie author Nadine Brandes did an author interview for Kingdom Pen this past year and mentioned how, “I got sucked into The Hunger Games and, after that, Divergent, but had a hard time feeling hopeful by the end of those two series. So I started diving into an old story idea of mine with the goal of showing that hope can still overcome, no matter how despairing the darkness is.” (read the rest of her fabulous interview here)
How cool would it be to have the same writing goal as author Nadine Brandes?! A goal of showing that hope can still overcome, no matter how despairing the darkness is.
Okay! But how?
The story Aquifer, by Jonathan Friesen is about a boy named Luca, who’s trying to save the world’s only water source, pumped to the surface by underworlders. His story begins with a corrupted government stirring up trouble and things go downhill from there. And I mean downhill.
He loses his family, friends and all things familiar and dear to him as he descends into the earth to put an end to the rumor that the world’s water supply will be cut off. Meanwhile, the world above falls into chaos as people plunder and even kill for the supposedly scare fresh water while exacting revenge on the government officials who lied to and controlled them.
When Luca returns to the surface, he plunges into the chaos to inform the people that fresh water will always flow for them. Only problem, the water isn’t flowing. #spoilers
And this is the last chapter of the book. It is literally the end of the world.
However… (I’m getting to my point, I promise 🙂 )
When the people realize that it’s time for their world to end and accept their fate, they are reminded of a God who offers life eternal.
They fall on their knees in desperate plea for the life He can give. And peace reigns.
Writing with hope means that in the end, no matter if all the hero’s loved ones die.
No matter if the they live in a broken world with a broken family and a broken heart.
No matter if the world is filled with violence and hunger and pain.
No matter if the world comes to an end.
Your hero still clings to something offered by Someone who cannot change or lie.
Life. A hope in this world, fulfilled in the one to come.
Not a hope that wishes for this life to get better, because it may not.
But a hope that expects, knows the Creator does not lie and believes in the only One who can give life eternal and abundantly gives joy, comfort, peace and hope of that life to come while we live now.
Aquifer’s just one book I read recently that demonstrates sharing hope. Nadine Brandes Out of Time series beautifully writes with this same hope. So does Robin Parish’s Vigilante. Or Rachelle Dekker’s The Choosing. (Recommended Reading by Rolena)
So go on, friends. Write a story that shares that hope. 🙂
Next post I have a special video for y’all. (I love surprising people :)) The only hint I’ll give is that it’ll give you a taste of my “actressy” side 🙂
Also, it’s not to late to sign up for Enclave’s special Christmas book giveaway.
And by the way you should check out this Christmas song. It’s filled with hope 🙂
What’s a Christmas tradition unique to your family? What’s your current writing project?