Joy comes not from the “stuff” of Christmas but from the hope of Christmas!
I absolutely love the music, the lights, the tree, the many traditions we have established as a family, the giving of gifts, the wonder of children, and so much more. All that is part of it.
But, in the end, it all points me to a bigger reality – one that will not fade or wither or be boxed up after the new year! Those are but fainting reminders of the unfading grace that came down to bridge the gap betwen God and man!
The reality of Christmas is found in the person of Christmas – Jesus Christ – whose presence and relationship restores and refreshes rather than wears us down. And, when personally received, that Reality transforms us and gives us “Christmas” all year long and for eternity.
When we have a relationship with the Person of Christmas, December 25 isn’t a one time event but a continuing and ever increasing celebration of the daily joy that is not bound by a day or by circumstances in life that sometimes make us restless and weary.
Expectation is bound up in the heart at Christmas because expectation is our soul’s longing for that which truly satisfies and makes us truly “merry and bright!”
So I will continue to sing the songs, smile at the lights, and laugh at the wonder.
May it increasingly open my eyes to the truest of wonders, our Savior who is Christ the Lord!
Hope in a world that seeks to discourage and give false assurances.
But THIS hope has a foundation!
Hope not in systems and fine sounding philosophies.
Hope not in men or women.
Hope not in a position, a desire, a fulfillment.
Hope not in ourselves.
But hope in the One.
Sure, unshakeable hope.
Undeniable, strengthening hope.
Living, eternal hope.
Rejoicing, peace-filling hope.
Hope in the midst of the hard.
“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices!”
Jesus has come!
In real time, He came to a weary world
To meet our greatest need – our separation from God the Father
Hope broke the chains, hope still breaks the chains.
“He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger.
Behold your King… *
He covers us in our fear and carries us in our weariness
“Fall on your knees,” bend them…before the Savior, before the Sovereign God, before the “God of all comforts.” **
Hope lives, hope reigns in the hearts of those who set it intentionally on the saving and transforming grace of God.
Hope sustains the one who has said, “I am a sinner in need of the Savior, and I set my hope fully in the finished work of Christ on the cross and in His resurrection.”
Hope establishes the one who lays down their life, their will, their control to the God who is Sovereign LORD and who is worthy of our praise, who is “an anchor for the soul, firm, and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19)
The weary world can rejoice because the thrill of hope is a reality!
Settle your heart in the grip of hope.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade, kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold which perishes even though refined by fire – may be provide genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls! (I Peter 1:3-9)