In Featured, Pastor Paul's Blog

By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘Future’ as in… the longing we experience at Christmas might not be so much about looking back as it is about looking ahead.

We’re pondering the question, “What one memory of Christmas stands out for you, and why?” The conversation that follows is vibrant: the ‘first snow’ of the season on Christmas Eve in a part of the country that rarely had snow in December, let alone on Christmas Eve; a family gathering after the recent death of a loved one; gratitude for gifts exchanged even as financial resources are stretched. People, decorations, lights, music, memories are all part of the nostalgia of Christmas.

Christmas is nostalgic. We look back and tell “tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.” Storytelling is part of our celebration even as we acknowledge our deep longings for the past. Yet, there is also a present tense to Christmas. The tension that people feel each year as Advent recedes seems to grow exponentially with the hopes and dreams of an emerging new season.

But Christmas is ultimately an expression of hope for the future. Christmas points us forward into all of the unwrapped days ahead. Christmas compels us toward a future filled with all the hope-filled moments that the birth of Jesus promises.

The Gospel writer Matthew looks somewhat nostalgically at what happened: “Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way….” But that story is rooted in another far more ancient narrative that is really about the future, a hope for what will unfold: “His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forever.”

While the original Christmas stories recorded in Matthew and Luke contain a good bit of looking back, those stories really set us up for an enormous amount of looking forward with hope. The momentum in the story of the birth of Jesus is all about God writing a new future in Christ for all people, no exceptions.


Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where he blogs about a different word each week. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche) or on his blog, Thriving Rhythms.

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