This year has been filled with the “unexpected.” For so many people, it has been a year of pain and uncertainty. We look all around us and see divisiveness, hatred, illness, and death. We feel the pain of separation from our loved ones and from our communities. We are ALL looking for a glimmer of HOPE. 2000 years ago, in an oppressed nation filled with hardship and turmoil that had been waiting for rescue for 400 years, God himself took on human flesh and was born as a baby, and began the life that would redeem not just Israel, but the entire world. Every year during this season, Christmas can be a reminder of so many things, both positive and negative. But if we can focus on the TRUE meaning of Christmas, we can hold fast to this truth that we need so desperately in 2020: that HOPE is HERE.