The hope we sing. . .

If you’ve followed my ramblings for any length of time, you may remember that I love the Christmas season. I really do.

But let’s be real. It’s all too easy to let the season become stressful. It’s busy. It’s hectic. Parties to attend, cards to address, food to cook, traveling to see too many families in too little time, all those presents to buy and wrap, and in the end, too much money spent on all the things we feel are necessary parts of the holiday season.

I fall into it, this holiday stress. Christmas becomes overwhelming, and I find myself thinking, this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. . .this isn’t how I WANT it to be. This really should be the most wonderful time of the year.

Why? Because Christmas is Hope. Christmas is the climax of a big story—God’s big story that has become our story. Christmas is the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God—the inauguration of the total restoration of all things that will one day be our reality. Christmas brings the answer to the horrific problems of sin and suffering that permeate the earth. Christmas is an essential part of the fulfillment of a promise given in Genesis 3:15: the seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent.

We don’t revel in this hope. We rarely even dwell on it in the mundane of the day-to-day. But it’s the hope we sing in our carols during the month of December. And it’s the hope we cling to, through the good and bad, in every other month of the year.

Our hearts mourn the sickness, suffering, injustice, evil, and loss of innocent life that are daily realities in our world:

And in despair I bowed my head: “There is no peace on earth,” I said, “For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.”

But the bells of Christmas day ring out our message of HOPE:

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “GOD IS NOT DEAD, NOR DOTH HE SLEEP; the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to men.”  

This hope of right one day prevailing began in Bethlehem and continued to the cross. . .

Son of Adam, Son of heaven, given as a ransom. Reconciling God and Man, Christ, our mighty Champion! What a Savior, what a Friend, what a glorious myst’ry! Once a babe in Bethlehem, now the Lord of hist’ry! 

And it will one day be consummated with Christ’s return! So, may we truly revel in His first coming this Christmas season. May it be our pleasure, our joy, and our hope. May it overcome the busyness and stress. May we also pray in earnest for his second coming: a time when our restoration will be complete,  our hope fulfilled, and all things made right.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

And ransom captive Israel

That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel!

{Lyrics: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Joy Has Dawned, & O Come, O Come, Emmanuel}

One thought on “The hope we sing. . .

  1. It has been feeling pretty much like lonely exile here with the innocent killing of precious first graders and teachers. Your prescient post helps salve the sadness.

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