About the Author

Rev Aaron Eime is the deacon of Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem, the first Protestant Church in the Middle East. Aaron studied at the Hebrew University in the Masters Program with the focus towards Early Jewish and Christian Interpretation of Bible. Aaron also studied Psychology and Sociology at Queensland University in Australia in the Social Work Program. He is a dedicated Bible teacher exploring the Hebraic Roots of the Christian Faith. He has taught Internationally in many countries including Europe, North America, Hong Kong and China. Aaron is the Director of Research and Education at Christ Church. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and 3 children.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Time for Hope

There is a time for everything under heaven, the Wise Man once said (Ecclesiastes 3). Happy New Year and according to the Gregorian Calendar, welcome to 2016. It is common that when the clock ticks over from one epoch to another, like a year or a century, that there are times for celebration and looking to the future and sometimes for reflection and pondering the past. Often both at the same time. 

Looking forward at the new year to come, the time ahead seems fraught with difficulties. In the build up to inaugurating 2016, several events in Paris, Moscow, Jakarta, Madrid, New York and Sydney were cancelled or reduced. The world enters 2016 a little jittery, economies teeter on the edge of recessions, despite oil being lower than ever nothing seems to actually be cheaper at all (except oil), terrorism casts an ugly shadow that only seems to get longer and reach further into our cities, and our leaders appear quite powerless to solve any of those problems. Thankfully as believers it is good to remember that God remains King of the Universe and He sits on the Throne.  As Lord of Time He is in control, and that is a comforting thought. Without God ruling and reigning as He does, the world would indeed be hopeless. 

But there is a time for Hope, Tikvah in Hebrew. When the apostle Paul condensed all of the Christian Faith down into three words he wrote ‘… these three things remain, Faith, Hope and Love and the greatest of these is … not Faith!’ (Which will have to be the subject of another post! 1 Corinthians 13vs13). Now before I get labeled as a heretic let me be clear. Faith in the Messiah is extremely important. He who believes and is baptized will be saved, says the Messiah. However, Scripture reminds us that the greatest of these is Love. This does not diminish Faith in anyway. Too often though, Hope is forgotten that it is in this short list. And Hope is such a powerful word. 

It is the apostle Peter who instructs us to be prepared to give a reason for the hope that we have (1 Peter 3vs15). He does not say we need to give a reason for our Faith. Why not? Why not be prepared to defend the Faith. Probably because this world simply just does not care. No one cares about our Faith anymore. They don't want to know. Don't get me wrong, I love apologetics. We are now in a world that has embraced the subjective lie that truth is relative and that there are no absolutes. One person’s truth is just as valid as another person’s truth. Who's to judge? It’s very hard to argue against. People are ok if we believe in Jesus, just as long as we don't try and tell them about it. The world says: “You believe in Jesus, that’s wonderful. Now you and Jesus just sit over there but me and my crystals will be just fine over here, thank you. Don't try and impose your reality on my reality. I’m ok!” 

Peter also does not urge us to give a reason for our Love. Generally the world doesn't demand from us a reason why we are good. People don't usually say, “I saw you help your neighbour out yesterday. Stop that, stop being nice. You should not do that, it’s bad to be nice. Stop loving!” Love is not the realm only of the believer. Love is a chief characteristic of God. The designer has put it inside His design and Love is in all of his Creation. Perfect Love casts out all fear. 

We can not trust our governments to solve the problems, and we can not trust in our economies to secure our future. We can trust in God and Him alone. In a world without God, when the lights go out and you close your eyes for the very last time, all is lost, it’s all gone. This short life becomes pointless and meaningless and there is no hope. It’s depressing. But we don't think that way. Our trust is in the Lord who lives. We believe He is on the Throne and He is in control. We believe that Messiah did not remain dead and that He did rise to life and so shall we. And that means that there is Hope. Hope that things will get better, hope that the dawn will come and chase the darkness away. And no one, not even the Enemy, can take that Hope away. We can always be prepared to give a reason for the Hope that we have. When people ask us about the future of 2016, we can share Hope to a hopeless world. We do not need to be a trained evangelists to share why we have hope. We just have to open our mouths and be honest. It’s personal and not offensive simply to say, ‘For this reason I have Hope. Because God is Alive and I will live too’. Looking forward into 2016 is indeed a Time for Hope.