The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Ps. 147:11
Christmas time is a great opportunity to give gifts. I love the sheer delight on the faces of children (of all ages) when we open the Christmas gift we had hoped would come. I just watched a video of my grandson, Ezra, who is celebrating two birthdays today (Jesus and his own). The smile on his face is life giving. I have also seen the pain on the faces of those who have not gotten what they were longing for. Some parents just shrug it off and say “Blessed are those who don’t expect too much, for they won’t be disappointed.” That is not actually in the Bible, but many quote it as if it were.
The Bible does say… “Hope differed makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12.
So, what I propose is that the greatest gifts we can give at Christmas (or any other time) are the gifts that don’t make it under the Christmas tree. Some of these gifts that come to mind are joy, peace, comfort, grace, forgiveness, preference…. and the list goes on.
The one I think is most needed at Christmas time is that of hope. I am here to proclaim that hope is your Christmas gift for the taking… and for the giving. It is waiting for you to open it up and receive it. One must, however, be very careful about giving gifts like hope, because it can cause a lot of pain if it is not real… O yes, there is risk in building up one’s hope about a longing… The risk is that the longing may not be fulfilled. So, one must be careful where one put’s one’s hope.
I have great news… Christmas is all about unfailing hope. Hope that really showed up and really identified with what it means to be human. Our story of hope is not a fairytale. Jesus actually came into human history, was born in an actual place that can be found today on Google Maps. So here is the good news.
Jesus’ love is unfailing. He came, lived, suffered, died and rose from the dead (for real) so that we could have real hope. Hope of dreams fulfilled, longings fulfilled and life that will not fail. We have everything to be hopeful about if we believe and receive His gift. Jesus is the gift that brings us more hope than we can actually realize.
Where are you setting your hope? I propose that you aim high… Go for the things that money cannot buy… like peace, right standing with God and man. Go for quality of life and that will lead to longevity of life. Eternal life.
Merry Christmas and a Happy 2021.
Jon and Molly