“Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” – Luke 2:13-14.
I enjoy the time leading up to Christmas as much as I do Christmas day itself. There is something special about this time of year. It’s the Christmas music. It’s the feeling of love and hope that overwhelms me this time of year. It’s seeing God’s love in this world and the hope of what is to come.
Hope is is not a granted wish or a favor performed. No, it is far greater than that. It is a faith-filled, unpredictable dependence on a God who loves us and wants the best for us. Hope isn’t actually something we do, but something we receive, like grace. But for hope to exist, there must also be hopelessness. If everything was perfect or even near perfect there would not be any need for hope. But our world was far from perfect. And in all the millions of concerted efforts to make the world a better place, to bring hope to humanity, real hope came unexpectedly. God came to earth to provide a once-and-for-all substitute for the sins of everyone on the first Christmas.
It is impossible not to be in awe of God’s design and methods. Who could have conceived of the plan of salvation or the virgin birth. Who could have imagined the plan for the walls of Jericho to crumble, for hungry lions to turn into Daniel’s pet kittens, or the Red Sea to part and offer up dry land. Who could have conceived of the Son of God dying on the cross for the sins of the world. And who can conceive the plans God has for me and you and the blessings and miracles we could see this Christmas. So neither do I know how my problems will be solved, or what miracles I’ll be blessed to see this Christmas.
Isaiah 9:6-7 talks about the hope of the prophecy being fulfilled that brought us a “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” The last sentence of verse seven says it’s “The passionate commitment of the Lord” that will make this happen. Romans 15:13 says: “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Why is there hope? Because Jesus was born. So we celebrate the hope of Christmas today. I hope you take a few moments this Christmas season to reflect on and to thank God for bringing us this hope.
- What does a hope in a Jesus Christ life look like?
- How does hope change the way we live our lives?