It’s been a tough year. The news pummels us with global tragedy—Nepal’s deadly earthquake, the refugee crisis, Paris and other mass shootings. It shows pictures of weather-related destruction, and it threatens us with impending doom unless we stop global warming.
Some folks watch these things and wring their hands in despair. Others hit the off switch and walk away unaffected because those issues seem so far away. It’s more difficult to remain unaffected, however, when tragedy strikes close to home—cancer, accidents, job loss, prodigal kids, Alzheimers, home foreclosure, miscarriage, broken family relationships, and the like.
Last night my husband and I hosted our Sunday school class Christmas party. During the gift exchange, I noticed one present wrapped in paper covered with the words Ho Ho Ho—words associated with jolly Santa Claus.
Seriously, I know so many people who feel anything but jolly right now. They’re wishing they could delete Christmas this year. They’re going through the motions by rote, but inside they’re simply trying to cope.
Perhaps you can relate. Or you know someone who can. If so, be encouraged by remembering the angel’s message to the shepherds as they watched their flocks on Bethlehem’s outskirts: “Don’t be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!”
That great news centered on the Messiah’s birth. The tiny baby, born in humble circumstances, brought hope to those who recognized Him for who He was. And He brings hope to us today when we recognize Him for who He is.
This season, let’s worship Jesus for who He is—far more than the little baby in the manger. He’s the Son of God. Crucified Savior. Risen King. Reigning Majesty. And someday He’ll return to earth, but His second coming will look much different than the first.
Angels lit up the sky to herald Christ’s arrival two thousand years ago. What might His next advent look like? Habakkuk gives us a wee peek: “His brilliant splendor fills the heavens, and the earth is filled with his praise. His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise. Rays of light flash from his hands, where his awesome power is hidden.”
Folks, we HOld to HOpe in the HOlidays because Jesus—the One whose brilliant splendor fills the heavens, the One filled with awesome power—holds us. Our circumstances might look anything but jolly, but Jesus overcomes. His presence brings strength, courage, wisdom, peace, and joy. And that’s infinitely better than a hollow Ho Ho Ho anyday.
#HopeInTheHolidays #bgbg2 #ChristmasDevotions