So, how’s it going with your Christmas preparations? House decorated? Tree up? Lights strung? Cards out? What about the gifts? Have you made your list? Are they wrapped? Now if you are anything like me, the answer to these questions are more informative as to how behind I am and actually are causing me a little stress! Last night, as I was hassling with the outside lights (how can a sting of lights have that many knots and tangles…and great, now they don’t work…so I’m checking each light, twice, finally I found the culprit), I was thinking of the list of things to do as my neighbors houses are mocking me since they are all done, and Facebook friends are showing pictures of well decorated trees laden with wrapped gifts. (My tree is in a bucket on the side yard waiting for me to get the time to put it in the stand and bring it in the house to decorate.) It all got me thinking, “gifts…what gifts…I have not even thought about it”, ugh, and I thought, “Is there any hope…”
But before I finished the thought, questioning if there is any hope I will get it all done, the Lord backed up my thought and focused my attention on HOPE, the hope of Christmas, for because of Christmas there is hope. You see it’s Christmas, there’s hope. Could I imagine what life would be like without Christmas? Now, I’m not talking about what we have made it to be, both the good and the stressful, but what it would be like if we did not have a Savior, left distant from God, separated from our Heavenly Father.
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.
Not a fun place to be. Wow, talk about no hope, but so glad that it’s just a nightmare-ish thought. The reality is that it’s Christmas and there is hope!
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The Angels to the shepherds announced this hope like this:
Luke 2:11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
John the Baptist proclaimed the hope like this:
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
And we now have available a hope that we can grasp as we believe. To believe is more than just to know, but to take action and place our confidence and trust and hope in Jesus as our Savior. No doubt many of you have made that decision (if you are still not sure email me back and let’s chat), and so now it’s living in that hope.
To live the hope Christmas brings is to let the reality of what faith in Jesus means. Here are a few verse that I would encourage you to take the time to read them, and read them out loud as well and see hope arise.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Romans 8:1 ESV There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 2:9 ESV But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Ephesians 2:10 ESV For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
John 1:12 ESV But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God,
Philippians 3:20 ESV But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
1 John 4:4 ESV Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
John 15:15 ESV No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
Now there are many more verses, but you get the point. Oh wait, here’s one more:
Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You see, because it’s Christmas there is hope. So as you push through the work of making Christmas special and meaningful keep your focus on the hope Jesus brings. I know it has and is melting away the stress and panic of the Yule Tide tasks before me, and maybe for you too. It’s Christmas, there’s hope.
Dwelling on the Hope of Christmas with you,
P.S. If you are in the Cypress area we have some wonderful Christmas Sundays planned (December 9, 16, and 23). They are at 9 am and 10:30 am. We would love to see you and encourage you to bring a friend. As well, we have three Christmas Eve Candle Light Services on December 24th 4:30 pm, 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm so please plan to attend and bring some friends.