Thought for the Week – 25th December 2022
Fresh from a World Cup, with the Premier League due to start again, my thoughts drift towards the greatest line ever in a film, at least that I can use in public as a vicar. “The disappointment I can take, it is the hope that kills me”; John Cleese, in “Clockwork”. Now if you are an avid listener to “Thought for the Day”, you might know where I’m going with this, as I’m basing this on a broadcast a couple of weeks ago. But even if you did hear it first time round, it is worth repeating. Because behind the words in the film is a truth. Hope can sometimes be an enemy, when it is an unrealistic hope, when it is dodging the truth, an attempt to escape reality. As a vicar, I sometimes worry that when I hear people speak about what they believe, they are actually hiding behind false hope.
I think the Christian Hope is rather different, because it is grounded in the reality that we remember at Christmas. Our hope is “God with us”; it isn’t that all our problems will magically pass away, it is that whatever happens, nothing can tear us away from the love of God. And the grounds for this hope are because God has entered into our world as one of us, experienced all that the world can throw at us, culminating in death upon a cross and triumphed over that at the end. As the carol puts it, “man shall live for evermore, because of Christmas Day”. That our hope, that is why we celebrate this season.
Rev David Poyner