The Birth of Hope

The Birth of Hope

As we approach Christmas we look back on the year and are perhaps saddened by 2016. We began the year by losing greats including David Bowie and Alan Rickman. It didn’t get any better, with more cultural losses, including Terry Wogan, Ronnie Corbett, Victoria Wood, Prince, and most recently Leonard Cohen.

However, even these are not the most memorable aspects of this year. In June, against all the odds, Britain decided it wanted to leave the European Union, causing something of an earthquake in the political system. But even that pales in comparison to the shockwaves caused by the US presidential election result.


The reasons behind these two events will be discussed and debated for many years to come: that the claims of the Leave and Trump campaigns were exaggerated and that they over-promised; that people are largely fed up with institutional politics and that charismatic figures like Nigel Farage and Donald Trump promote themselves as anti-establishment.


However, what is more important than how we got here is how we move forward. As we look around our community, our country, our world, we see an increasing number of people fearful for their futures. We saw a rise in hate attacks in this country following the referendum, towards those who are different, and since the election result there has been a similar rise in America.


It seems rather a dark world.  But into that our festive lights twinkle. The Christmas lights in St Albans are lit and make the dark evenings feel jollier. We put up our decorations, and the flickering candle light makes the darkness seem more comfortable and snug. At Christmas, we remember that into the darkness, came Jesus. Bringing light, peace, and hope.


It seems pertinent that our theme this Christmas is that of Hope. The Hope that was born when Jesus came into our world as a little baby – a demonstration by God that rather than being forgotten we are loved. 


My prayer this season is that you might find Church and the Christmas services a place to relinquish any fears you may have, and embrace hope as we celebrate its birth.


Rev Em Coley


Christmas services at St Leonard's

This article first appeared in the December 2016 edition of the St Leonard's, Sandridge parish magazine.