Christmas HopeChristmas is right around the corner! Today, as the first Sunday in Advent, I think it's safe to play the music without fearing harassment, start the shopping (or finish the shopping), put the lights up for the neighbors to see, and get excited for another season of fun, love, and warmth around the living room with loved ones.
With Christmas though, comes the chaos. Parties every weekend. Dinners to get to. Presents to guess. Cookies to bake. Services to plan (if you work in a church). Items to wrap (or bag if you hate wrapping like me). For some of us, we'll be preparing the house for relatives. Cleaning everything during a time it feels impossible to clean. Stressing about the in-laws...or your own family...
But what if we took a minute to just stop and ponder the why of Christmas? I think over the years, commercialism has invaded and laid expectations on society that leaves us feeling stressed, busy and anxious about this Most Wonderful Time. But because a babe was born way back when in a place that a king shouldn't be born in, and toppled over the lives of all He influenced in that time, we have no need to stress or fear or be held to expectations. When we take Christ out of Christmas, we stress because we feel like we have to live up to the expectations and the satisfactions of the things we get or give. With Christ, we can enjoy those things too, but they aren't the everything that makes up Christmas, ready to leave us disappointed when it's all over.
We have Hope. This Hope came down on that night to walk with us and bring light into the world that saved us all from our darkness. This Hope overcomes. This Hope gives us the confidence to come forth to Him and know He will help us. This Hope gives us strength to face the situations that seem like utter, hopeless mountains to climb in life. And this Hope grants us an eternity. We have hope that He is coming again one day and we know those promises are pure.
So as you light your first candle on your Advent wreath tonight, think about that amazing Hope we have in Jesus. He is our ONLY hope and our ONLY way.
“May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace, as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)