A long time ago, on a very special night in northern Alaska, a group of Eskimo children built a snowman. As they built this snowman, they could not help but notice a star brighter than any they had ever seen in the eastern sky. Even the Northern Lights could not diminish its brightness.
The children were very proud of their creation. They put a lot of time and love into the snowman. Eskimo children are luckier than a lot of children in that when they build a snowman, they can expect it to last almost forever. Eventually, they grew hungry and tired and they all went home.
If you recall, I mentioned this was a very special night. In fact, it was an incredible night. This night would change the world and mankind more than any other night in the history of the world. Maybe because this was a very special night, a lot of angels were visiting the earth. Some were even flying over Alaska.
One very young angel, named Aram, because of the lack of seniority, was not getting to tell the joyous news to the people of the world. Aram was just bursting with joy. He just had to share this wonderful news with someone. When he came across this snowman, he could not help himself. He named the snowman Hope, and he cast a special blessing on the snowman and gave the snowman a brain and a heart. He then told Hope about a little baby born that very night to a young virgin named Mary, who was married to a good man named Joseph. The baby was in a manger far to the east of where the snowman stood.
The very human child was also the Son of God. God sent his son because he loved people so much and this baby was going to save the world. Aram told the snowman that was why the star to the East was so bright. He told Hope that shepherds and even kings were traveling great distances to bring this special child special gifts.
Maybe because the snowman was so pure and young at heart, he believed everything the angel told him. He, too, was filled with joy and wonder.
He told Aram he also wanted to give a gift to the child. The angel, being young, laughed before he could stop himself.
"What do you possibly have that a king would want or need? This is Christ, the Son of God." When the angel saw how he had hurt the snowman, he was sorry. He told Hope that he would remember the snowman and his wish to give a gift to the child. Aram told the snowman that he had to be on his way, but he left the snowman his awareness, possibly out of guilt.
The snowman stood in his spot and watched the Eskimo children play. He watched them day after day. He did not get bored as you or I would. In fact, he kept thinking about the Christ child and wondered what was happening to him and the greatness that the child was yet to do. Some days later, much to the snowman's surprise, the young angel returned. Aram asked Hope if he meant what he said about giving the child anything he owned. Hope would have jumped for joy if he had not been frozen in place.
"Oh, yes. Anything." But then Hope said, "What do I have to offer? All that I have is myself, and all I am is some snow and some caribou antlers and fur."
Aram said, "You are what the child and his family will soon need. The child and his family are traveling through the desert to escape the wrath of Herod, the king of Judea. This has been a dry year in Judea. The well that Joseph is expecting to supply water for the second half of their journey is dried up. Would you be willing to give the ultimate sacrifice to let me take you to the well to melt so that when Joseph stops to fill his goatskins there will be water for Joseph, Mary and the donkey? The water is necessary for the child and his family to cross the desert." Hope didn't have to think about this very long. He felt that by giving of himself to the child, he could experience the greatest of happiness. He only asked Aram that he might see the baby before he was put into the well.
Aram took Hope to the baby while Mary and Joseph were asleep. Hope gazed upon the child and the child gazed upon Hope. The baby even smiled at Hope and Hope heard God say how pleased he was that Hope loved his son so much.
When Joseph and Mary came to the well, Joseph filled all the goatskins with the water from the well. Mary took a much-needed drink. She paused and turned to Joseph and told him that was the sweetest water that she had ever tasted.
In fact, when she drank the water, she was filled with a feeling of love and hope. Joseph told Mary that from then on, the well should be called the Well of Hope.