Hope can make one feel silly. Often we use it as a synonym for wishing. “I hope it doesn’t rain.” “I hope LSU wins.” “I hope everything turns out okay.” And that sort of hope is bound to disappoint. Must we choose between a flimsy hope and no hope at all? The prophets of Israel would say no. In times of great difficulty, they emerged to speak the word of the Lord to his people. They didn’t offer platters of false hope, easy answers, and empty promises. But they didn’t offer endless helpings of doom and despair either. They spoke of a hope rooted in the character of God, a hope that outlasts today’s headlines and tomorrow’s too. They spoke of a robust hope that could survive even death itself. And, increasingly, they spoke of a Messiah who would be hope embodied for us. And then, one holy night, it happened. Christ was born and hope came true. Join us as we reflect on the words of the prophets that show us how to hope even when life falls apart, that clarify what we’re really hoping for, and, most of all, that point us to Jesus.