“And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:21 (NLT)
This morning, our daughter just turned the blocks on the Christmas Countdown on our mantle to the number 23. She loves to turn the two blocks to the correct number every day because each time she turns them means that we are officially one day closer to Christmas!
The holiday season can be overwhelming for many of us for several reasons: expectations for a perfect Christmas, the multitude of activities and events to attend, the sheer number of tasks that need to be accomplished, and even the loneliness and sadness that come from missing loved ones who have passed away or live too far away to visit.
So, let’s take a moment to just be still and focus on the hope of Christmas.
Our modern view of hope focuses on a wishfulness that only knows uncertainty. In contrast, the Biblical definition of hope is “confident expectation.” This sort of hope means waiting for something with certainty, knowing it will happen because God has promised it.
Throughout the entire Bible, God gives his people hope for a Savior, Jesus Christ. The first reference to our Savior is found in Genesis 3:15. God later makes covenants with Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the Israelites, promising to protect them, increase their numbers, fight for them and provide them with a Savior (Genesis 9:11, 22:15-18, Exodus 6:6-8, Isaiah 9:6-7).
Our Savior, Jesus, is our highest hope in this life, and as Christians, we celebrate his birth on Christmas Day. God came down to earth in the person of Jesus so we could see him and have hope for a restored relationship with our Creator. Jesus is “God with us,” Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).
Paul reminds us to “rejoice in hope” (Romans 12:12), so let us always find joy in the riches we have because of Jesus. He has given us forgiveness, grace, comfort, peace, endurance to press on during times of difficulty and, most importantly, eternal life. Jesus is our wonderful hope!
As we enter this season of Advent, consider the following questions about hope:
- Have you put your trust in Jesus as your highest hope?
- What are you hoping for today?
- How can you share the hope of Jesus with someone this week?
As we count down the days to Christmas, remember we are getting closer to the birth of our Savior, our highest hope!
Christmas music is one of my favorite things about the holiday season, and I hope you enjoy this song by Kari Jobe that reminds us that Jesus is our hope.