’tis that time of year again!
Time to remember all those people you never talk to except through exchanged cards.
Time to eat way too much food, especially Christmas cookies!
Time to stress your brain and your wallet, figuring out just what gifts to get for everyone on your list.
Time for children’s plays at church or school, caroling, parties, and other fun.
Time for exhaustion, family fights, and disappointments galore.
And time to remember why we have hope!
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Hope! Yes, that’s the real reason for the Christmas celebration.
Christ was probably born in October, not December, but the church created this holiday, at this time of year, to cover up several pagan ritual days.
We can argue about which of our customs are truly ‘Christian’, and we can feud about whether to say ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Holidays’.
We can ignore the whole thing, cursing it as too commercial, or pagan, or whatever.
We can wear ourselves out with shopping and wrapping and mailing. And baking and cooking and eating.
But the real reason behind all the hype and drama and excess is – hope!
* * *
What is there, in this fallen sinful world, to hope in, other than Christ?
He is the sacrifice for our sins, the healing of our minds and bodies, the truth that sets us free, the spiritual ‘bread’ we need to survive.
He is the way, not only to God and heaven, but also through this often dreary life.
Indeed, He is Life.
* * *
Whether this is really His birthday or not;
whether you refuse to have a tree or decorate your house so thoroughly that no one can find the couch;
whether you exchange cards and gifts, or act like the Grinch;
this is the time we have set aside to remember why we have hope!
So take the time to do just that, remember the reason behind the season – the birth of the One who saves and heals and sets us free.
Take time to renew your hope. That’s what Christmas is all about.
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May you make time during this joyous season to draw close to our Father God, allow Him to wrap His love around you like a warm blanket, and receive anew the gifts of hope, joy and peace He gives to everyone who receives.
“ Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:14