“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
I know that in 1st Corinthians 13:13 it says, “…now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love,” but sometimes the thing I need most is hope. Nothing can bring this hope to me like the story of the birth of Christ. Yes, I love all the nativity details and the songs. I love the candles and the candy. Smiles, hugs, laughter, and tears all mean more than words can express. There is, however, something deeper and stronger for me in the narrative of Christ’s Advent. He came to alter my destiny and yours. He came to replace our despair with hope. Before and without Christ, we had no hope; we were condemned to perish. With Christ we have eternal life; we are saved. From this, and per the Bible, we see that we who place our faith in Him and His salvation purchased for us on the cross are part of a worldwide movement of salvation. We live in a world that needs nothing more than it needs Jesus Christ and this hope for salvation that He alone brings… because He alone was righteous and therefore able to offer Himself effectively as a sacrifice on our behalf. Our sin and all its filth is what He was born to become on that cross (2nd Corinthians 5:21).
Without the horrors of the cross, there is no “joy to the world.” Without Christ’s death, there is no life. Without His crucifixion, there would be no faithful to come to Him. The angels on high would be without a song to sing. The shepherds and wise men would have nothing to discover or rejoice in. Mary would have nothing to ponder or treasure. The silent night would be silent because death is silent; it wouldn’t be the living, wonderful silence of peace with God, but the dark, hellish silence of separation from God. You can’t have Christmas without Easter, without all the events of Holy or Passion Week. But… because we have Easter, nothing on earth, not the worst circumstances, can take away our Christmas. Even if Christmas this year is difficult for you, because of the hope Christmas brings, your difficulties are temporary. The joy borne of hope that is Jesus Christ incarnate is eternal. May this hope be yours today and tomorrow and every day. May God permanently bless you and those you love this Christmas with love, faith, and hope. Merry Christmas!