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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

A New Hope

There are two things I have been thinking about this past week. One is Star Wars - given how the new film has smashed box office records and is a great Star Wars film (a favourite franchise of mine) - and the other is the Miss Universe contest. The second is because of the controversy which 'stripped' Miss Colombia of a crown that was never hers to begin with.

What do these two topics have in common? They're stories of hope or hopelessness. In the case of Miss Universe, when I watched the footage of how Miss Phillipines was correctly announced following the ever more infamous blunder of crowning Miss Colombia I noticed how her happiness at placing second was then replaced with shock and joy of being crowned truly. I also saw how every woman rushed to commiserate Miss Colombia, robbing Miss Phillipines of her true victory celebration. It was a scene where no one really won for the two ladies were robbed of their moment of proper celebration and the announcer will never be able to truly live down such a great blunder (although I am glad he had the courage to do the honourable thing and announce his mistake himself rather than send someone else to do this). There was a mixture of hopelessness and hope in how this whole scenario clumsily played out.

Then there is how Star Wars VII is smashing the box office. People complain that the new film mirrors the originals too closely - despite incredibly great performances by the actors and stellar visuals. But that's the thing, no Star Wars film has ever had a jawbreaking plot of twists and turns (save potentially Episode V with it's big 'I am your father' reveal). So what is it that makes Star Wars such a massive franchise? I know Jeanille and some other friends find it silly and a touch ridiculous and I don't really mind that, because as a film series and merchandising giant it is. A story of aliens and mystic warriors in space is odd and weird. But what truly seems to set it apart is the battle of good versus evil seen in the light side versus the dark side. A thing which is appealing to a large audience. Essentially there is hope seen in these films that good can triumph over evil, no matter how far gone evil may be. And without spoiling anything I will say that the new film is all about hope: hope for a better film in the franchise, hope that good will triumph, hope that a new future can exist. And I believe it's because of this theme of hope that this film is breaking records.

We live in a dark time of war and violence. It seems that every news report is a negative story. As we celebrate Christmas is important to remember what Christmas stands for. And I'm not talking about the pagan celebrations that the date was stolen from. I'm talking about  celebration of a new hope for mankind. A hope that lives on for all who believe in Jesus and his promise that one day this world will be made anew and that the darkness in the world will be vanquished so that peace may reign. I want anyone reading this to feel that hope and remind themselves to celebrate that hope this Christmas as a reminder that joy has been brought to the world despite anything. Four weeks ago I was feeling a touch hopeless about a job situation, now I have some hope founded in Christ. Two weeks ago I had a moment of hopelessness before I proposed to Jeanille. Again Christ brought me hope. What more can Jesus Christ do for you in this season and on into eternity?

Luke 1: 30-38

30And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

35And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

For nothing will be impossible with God. Let that be your new hope this Christmas and into the new year. Have a great holiday celebrating this great new hope!