If I could, I would give Memphis the gift of hope.
In Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl wrote about the importance of hope. He watched the effect of hope and hopeless on the prisoners in Auschwitz and chronicled his observations.
Frankl noted that the death rate in camp increased exponentially between Christmas 1944 and New Years 1945. The chief doctor of the camp proposed a theory to Frankl as to why this happened. The deaths did not rise, he conjectured, because of harder working conditions, or lack of food, or poor weather, or some sort of epidemic. Increasing amounts of prisoners were dying, he believed, because the prisoners had hoped that the would be rescued and released by Christmas 1944. But the closer that date drew, and the clearer it became that rescue would not happen, the more discouraged the prisoners became. This affected them physically so that their ability to resist sickness was weakened.
They literally died of hopelessness.
If I could Memphis a gift, I’d give the gift of hope.
Not hope in the government. But hope in God. Not hope in the media. But hope in the Messiah. Not hope in the scholars. But hope in the Spirit.
In the Christmas story, a father named Zechariah compares the birth of Jesus to a sun whose rays are just beginning to pierce the cold darkness (Luke 1:78). It’s a light of hope. Hope in a God whose faithfulness is unwavering. Hope in a Son whose birth is unconventional. Hope in a Spirit whose power is unfathomable.
Dear friends, during this Christmas season, may God fill you with hope.