Christmas

Advent Week 1: Hoping in a hope-worthy God

Via RZIM Asia-Pacific

Max Jeganathan // December 2, 2020, 4:08 pm

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"By coming into the world that very first Christmas, just a few weeks after Zechariah proclaimed those amazing words, God revealed Himself hope-worthy and trustworthy," says RZIM Asia-Pacific's Max Jeganathan. Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash.

It’s been a turbulent and uncertain year and so it’s fitting that the theme for the first week of Advent is “Hope”. 

Eric Erikson, a clinical psychologist, put forward a theory of human psychosocial development, and what it posited was that the very first thing that babies are looking to build when they are born, is hope.

It’s anchored in their need, it’s anchored in fear, it’s anchored in their yearning, from the very moment that they are born – for provision, for comfort, for nurturing, for love, for food.

Hoping for something is pointless unless we can trust in something or someone to deliver on our hopes. 

They hope for all these things.

But interestingly, Erikson’s theory states that in order for all of that to happen, it’s all built on trust. The trustworthiness of the carer of the baby, the mother and the father of the baby. For a baby to be capable of being hopeful in the future, it all depends on the extent to which they can trust their carers in those first two years of life. 

This reveals an insight and a truth that rings true in every human heart today – that it’s all well and good to hope for things and we always hope for a better life, a better future.

We’re all hoping right now for a good Christmas and a better 2021. But hoping for something is pointless unless we can trust in something or someone to deliver on our hopes. 

Proclamation of hope

Interestingly, during the very first Advent before the very first Christmas, a man named Zechariah made a proclamation about the coming of Jesus Christ into the world.

Zechariah said that God was coming into the world to bring salvation to his people through the forgiveness of their sins because of the tender mercy of our God through which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine light on those who are living in darkness. 

We need to have someone trustworthy to put our hope in, to bring about the better things that we hope for.

What a wonderful declaration and proclamation of hope but also a declaration not just of the hope for something better but a declaration of the trustworthiness of the person who is bringing that objective of hope about.

Hope without trust is empty.

It’s not enough just to hope for something.

We need to have Someone trustworthy and hope-worthy to put our hope in, to bring about the better things that we hope for.

By coming into the world that very first Christmas, just a few weeks after Zechariah proclaimed those amazing words, God revealed Himself hope-worthy and trustworthy by coming into the world as a Person.

That same hope is hope that you and I have access to this Advent season and this Christmas season. And my hope for you is that you find that Hope this season.


This is part of RZIM Asia-Pacific’s Advent film series by Max Jeganathan, where he explores the Advent themes of Hope, Love, Joy and Peace and how we can experience these in their fullest this Christmas. This was posted online by RZIM Asia-Pacific here. Republished with permission. 

For more resources on this topic and others from the RZIM Asia-Pacific speaking team, visit the RZIM Asia-Pacific website www.rzim.asia.


MORE FROM THIS ADVENT SERIES:

Advent Week 4: Finding our inner peace

Advent Week 3: Realising our pure joy

Advent Week 2: Being loved in the purest form

About the author

Max Jeganathan

Max is the regional director for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries Asia-Pacific. He was educated at the Australian National University and the University of Oxford. Max is passionate about the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to transform lives. His research interests relate to the relationships between faith, politics, business, economics and moral reasoning. He moved to Singapore with his wife, Fiona, and son, Zachary, in 2017.

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