Christmas Hope

John 3:16-17

“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!

 

 

 

4 Replies to “Christmas Hope”

  1. What to Bring to the Utmost King

    What to bring, what to bring,
    to the Utmost King
    for Whom seasons turn and angels sing?
    What to bring, what to bring
    to God’s Chosen Son,
    the King of Kings,
    the holy One?

    ~~~~~~~~
    On a starlit night,
    With the moon so high,
    a mother’s wonder and baby’s sigh
    Little infant now,
    dressed in swaddling clothes
    And the world away
    heavy, long with woes

    ~~~~~~~~
    As a light appeared in those purple skies,
    and the dark roads crested for men so wise,
    as to seek a King on that dusty road,
    did not know His name,
    ‘though His name foretold.
    And the Christmas star slowly soon gave rise.
    It was high and bright; a clear, true guide.

    ~~~~~~~~
    And the shepherd’s followed it,
    one by one, with their little lambs,
    the wee ewes and sons.
    And they all knelt there at the Majesty
    of the new found place of
    the One True King.

    ~~~~~~~~

    What to give? What to give?

    As the three Magi,
    dressed in royal robes,
    traveled far and wide.
    They gave three fine gifts,
    as they all knelt low,
    for the baby King,
    the world did not know.

    ~~~~~~~~
    What to give, what to give?

    As cattle and sheep looked on mild and quiet
    at the small baby.
    Then the angels fell on the scene nearby,
    they shed light abroad,
    crying from the sky:

    “Fear not!” they said, brightness flooding down,
    for the Savior foretold was in that town.
    “Tidings of great joy!” they exclaimed again.
    Christ is born right here, Redeemer of men.

    ~~~~~~~~
    What to give? What to give?
    Is it good enough?
    Is this tale too long?
    Are the words too rough?

    Should I sing Him songs?
    Should I bake Him things?
    Should I buy Him silver,
    or costly rings?

    Or a fresh new suit,
    other finery?
    What to give the Savior-King
    for His birthday, please?

    ~~~~~~~~

    Then a still, small voice said so gentle, kind

    “Give Him your heart. That will do just fine.”
    Then
    “Give Him your life. He gave you His all”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    It was then that I knew other gifts were so small.
    A King who is real, and the One True King,
    needs my best gift more than anything.

    So on that great day, years ago,
    as the angels saw,
    for they did know,
    I whispered

    “Dear Jesus, here is me.
    Please save my soul for Eternity.
    Please cleanse my sin
    and make me Your child.
    I believe in You”

    Then the baby smiled
    as Joseph and Mary
    beheld the Child
    who was born that night
    to a weary world,
    loaded down with sin,
    needing second birth.

    ~~~~~~~~

    What to give?
    Christmas gifts…

    And the Light still shines
    And it shines through the darkness, til the end of time.

    And every story of Truth and sight,
    and beauty and mercy,
    and the triumph of right,
    has at its heart what I came to share,
    that Jesus is God
    And if born right there in your heart,
    you can have Christmas too.
    Then Christmas is Always,
    borne in you.
    ~~~~~~~~

    What to bring,
    What to bring to the Utmost King,
    Blessed Redeemer
    Maker of everything?

    Wise men knew,
    and they know today.
    Make room in your heart,
    Jesus is the way.

    (Luke 2:8-20)

  2. Thank you, Pastor John, for this inspiring and thought provoking devotional! Merry Christmas and many blessings in the new year!

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