Christmas lights have been switched on, Christmas music is playing, and it is now only 19 days until Christmas!
I wonder what it is that you are hoping for this Christmas? What is it that you are expectant for? With hope comes that anticipation, that waiting. As we enter this season of advent, we enter a time of waiting and anticipation as Christmas day gets closer!
When we enter December here at Phase the Christmas Unwrapped Workshops begin, these involve going into the primary schools in Hitchin, and getting the children to think about the very first Christmas. These workshops always make me reflect on that very first Christmas. The Jewish people were waiting for a promised King, hoping that he would come to save them, however their hope of the promised king was not quite met in the way they thought that it would be. They were not hoping for a baby that was born in a stable to come and save them. However, we know that Jesus did come to save his people through his death and resurrection and because of that we can have hope.
We can look around us today and see in our world, our country, our neighbourhood, and see situations which can see or feel hopeless. I have been challenged recently and share the challenge with you...
What does it look like for you to offer Hope to those around you...?
To someone who is maybe struggling. Maybe it is going around with a baked cake? Or taking that time to listen to them, helping them out with a practical task.
How can you be a Hope-giver...?
How can you offer hope and love to those around you, especially this Christmas time?
One example of how hope can be given is by the giving of a shoebox! This year Walsworth Road Baptist Church along with local primary schools from Hitchin managed to collect 663 shoeboxes, each one packed with love and containing toys, sweets, hats, gloves, toothpaste and other everyday items. Whilst the ordinary everyday contents of a shoebox may not seem much, the generosity that fills them adds encouragement and offers hope to those that receive one. Showing that somewhere, someone cares, and the kindness of a stranger is deeply comforting.
Through the charity Link to hope the shoeboxes have been delivered by a team from Hitchin to a community in Romania. These shoeboxes have been delivered to children and families in need. This is just one practical way in which love and hope can be shown to a child or whole family, helping to change the lives of those in need.
So, over the next week or so how can you look out for the opportunities to be a hope giver? Sharing hope and love to those around you.
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