When we are younger, Christmas seems to take FOREVER to get here. The decorations and early Christmas supplies appearing in October only seem to TEASE us as to how far away Christmas seems. But when we’re older… we can’t BELIEVE Christmas has come around already… again. And so soon!
What is it about Christmas that makes us eager for its arrival? The promise of new toys? Of delicious once-a-year food? Celebrations with family? The Christmas music? I think, underneath it all, it is our innate longing for hope. Christmas brings people some sense of that hope, even if it seems limited to a few days once a year.
We all need hope. When I was a child, I remember my parents taking me to see the movie, Pinocchio and hearing the little character Jiminy Cricket singing the wistful, “When You Wish Upon a Star.” It was a hopeful song. But the backstory of the song is about the person who voiced and sang for Jiminy. His name was Cliff Edwards. He was a vaudeville performer back in the day and had quite a following. Sadly, his life ended tragically because of alcohol abuse. Though he voiced a song of hope for generations of children courtesy of Walt Disney, his life ended without the hope he sang about.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could hang on to the hope that Christmas promises every year? If it means more to you than the tinsel and presents and greenery and goodies, it can. These things are packed away every year. But we don’t have to pack our hope away.
Jesus came to bring hope to every heart, and joy to every life. His promise was of “life, and life abundantly” and that is the gift He brings… not just at Christmas.
But even to your today.
“The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.”
“O Little Town of Bethlehem” by Phillip Brooks
Prayer: Our Everlasting Father, we are thankful this day that at the manger of Bethlehem our cry for hope was once for all answered in the cry of an infant. Because of the coming of Christ our hearts can finally be still before you. In the Christ who came we pray, Amen.