It is fitting end to 2020 to come and receive a message of hope from God’s Word. Hope is what every one of us needs. This year has been a difficult and dark year. And the gospel and all of its implications, is good news; the good news we need not just this year, but every year. When the gospel is understood, received and delighted in, it produces hope in us. Hope that is strong, hope that is able to hold us up under the weight of affliction, hope that literally changes the way we live.
At the heart of Christmas is love. You can’t have Christmas in any meaningful way without love. Christmas is a season of love and generosity because God is loving and generous. Christmas is about God’s love in action. The celebration of the birth of Jesus, is about the goodness and love of God appearing, that is, being made manifest, tangible, seen, experienced so as to change our lives forever.
While under siege by the Assyrians, God calls Micah to proclaim to Israel a message of judgment and hope. God is punishing Israel for their wicked idolatry and greed, yet, God's judgment will not be the final word. He will send them a deliverer, a shepherd King who will gather together again what has been scattered and restore them to an even greater peace in Israel and not just Israel, but to the entire world.