December 20, 2011

A thrill of hope...

Christmas, among many things, is a season of hope. God’s people waited in hope for thousands of years for their “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). When Jesus was finally born, the Magi followed a star in hope of finding their King (Matthew 2:2). Those that were hoping for their Savior’s arrival carried with them a “thrill of hope” at the thought of seeing God’s promise fulfilled.

That hope is the same spirit we all carry with us during the Christmas season. If we really get to the root of it, all of the preparations, cheeriness, and the universal realization that it is a wonderful life are really just representative of the hope for the inevitable birth of our Savior. This hope is compacted into a dense 4-week period of Christmas cheer. We, as Christians, feel the hope of the coming of Jesus every day, but at Christmas that hope comes alive with each lighting of our Christmas tree, each gift we pick out for a loved one, and each ring of a Salvation Army bell.

As my husband and I are still aching from the loss of our second child before we ever had the chance to hold her, I am finding the hope of this Christmas season especially comforting. The sparkling Christmas lights are like my star in the east, guiding me to Jesus. The reverberating gospel message found in Christmas songs follow me everywhere, reminding me that God’s love for me never fails. My son’s face lights up with joy when he sees the colorful decorations of the season, and I am reminded that God is faithful to fulfill His promises. A “new and glorious morn” will break for this weary soul.

May “a thrill of hope” be with you during the Christmas season and throughout the new year.

“And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God…And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:2,5).

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