Captured by hopeThis Christmas December 12, 2020
Captured by the hope of the Lord.
I’m captured by the season of Christmas the last couple of days. I’ve been thinking about the year into which Jesus was born. It was a dark and troubled time for the Jewish people. They were being oppressed by the Romans, who were making life miserable with taxes and regulations. There was chaos and political unrest as the Romans ruled with an iron hand. Rome was not only a powerful force, it was also an influential occupying force. Rome had invaded into the very lifestyle of the Jewish people, entrenching society politically, socially, and even religiously with their pagan culture. Many of the Jewish people had probably lost hope that the Messiah would come and give them the freedom they longed for. To many of them the promise of a Savior was a folklore and didn’t seem relevant anymore. Many were probably wondering where God was in all their suffering. Didn’t He see how His people were being held in bondage? How many of them were grumbling and complaining instead of being hopeful? How many were waiting in expectancy, holding on to the promise of the coming Savior? And how many more had adopted the Roman culture or adapted to its pagan lifestyle?
It was into these dark times the Messiah was born. Born as light to light the world. Born to give hope to a hopeless situation. Born to be Savior, to save his people. Born a Redeemer, to redeem all that was lost. Born with the name Emmanuel: God with us.
The astounding part though, is that He came as babe. Quietly and without fanfare. Not at all like the Jewish people were expecting. When I think about it, it’s not surprising to me that God would work mightily in the most unexpected way. The wisdom of man would have thought this the most foolish thing, the Son of God born as baby. How would this solve any problem? Yet, God in all His wisdom knew it was perfect.
What is really really clear to me this year is God makes a way where there seems to be no way. God isn’t ever lost for words or shaking His head wondering what to do. He isn’t like us. Too often we forget and tend to put Him in a box. Oh, how good it is that He can’t be put into a box! He’s more than my mind and heart can grasp and I’m so thankful He is! He is the great I AM and we can rest in His overwhelming care of us.
This Christmas, I will remember that it was into a dark night, into a dark, lost and troubled world that Jesus was born. Light came softly but profoundly, piercing the darkness. I will remember that He is still light today in our dark times. Where He steps into the story, the story is forever changed. In the smallest of ways, in the midst of turmoil, in the darkest moments...there is Jesus. And hope is never lost when it comes to Him. He is hope eternal.
When it seems like the night season is too long, I will gaze at the heavens and know that He is coming! When we struggle to understand everything going on around us, let us turn our eyes on Jesus. He is the answer. Let us stand in faith and believe that He has never failed and He never will. Let us not give up right here, right before the victory!
It feels as if Christmas this year is coming at the very right time. In the middle of the storm, in the midst of grief, it comes. Right on time, as a reminder that hope is born! A reminder of life, love,and goodness that is captured by God giving us His only Son. We are celebrating because the Light has come, with healing in His hands, and Jesus is at work on our behalf. Let us worship this season. Let us worship like never before! His goodness and glory are breaking through and no darkness shall stand against them. He is here. He is able.
Our God reigns in wonder, in heavenly wonder. I pray that this wonder is what fills our hearts and minds this season. Let it overflow and bring peace as we consider the glory of heaven. The glory which is now alive in us: Jesus Christ. In this season, He will fill our hearts with a new song. In quiet rest, we close our eyes and worship Jesus, singing back to Him the song He gives to us.
I’m thankful. So thankful for the birth of Salvation. That’s what the name of Jesus means. He came to save. And that same Jesus is still at work today. In every heart into which He is born, He brings light, hope, and the promise of life eternal. That is an incredibly gift. A blessed gift for which I am so very thankful for. These words echo inside my heart: Oh Lord my God! How great thou art! How great thou art!
We wait with expecting hope for the goodness and salvation of our Lord. We wait, but not in hopelessness or in weariness. We wait, feasting on Gods faithfulness, on all the blessings that God has given in the past. Recalling His goodness. We wait, for in patience and in endurance we will obtain the promises of God.
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